Duplicate IT spending in three agencies amounts to the cost of 1.33 F-35 fighters (minus maintenance, fuel, and future cost overruns). US Air Force Despite the efforts of the Office of Management and Budget and two federal CIOs over the past five years to cut the cost of government information systems, federal agencies are still wasting money on redundant or overlapping IT projects. That’s the finding of a Government Accountability Office report to Congress published September 12. In a spot-check of IT spending by the three federal departments with the largest IT budgets—the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security, and Department of Health and Human Services—the GAO found that a total of $321.25 million was spent between 2008 and 2013 on projects that duplicated other efforts within those same agencies. What’s jaw-dropping about this report is that the GAO could find that much duplication of effort in only those three agencies. Considering the entire government spends about $80 billion a year on IT, $321.25 million over six years is almost a rounding error.

And only a small number of the programs in these departments—two at DHS, four at DOD, and six at HHS—were found to duplicate other programs within those agencies in some way.     

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