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PdF '09: Kundra Unveils IT Spending Dashboard

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, June 30 2009

At Personal Democracy Forum 2009 this morning, U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra was rewarded with an enthusiastic standing ovation in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Rose Theater for pulling back the curtain on the federal IT spending dashboard he has been talking up in recent weeks, as an interface onto the biggest of the technology projects that are commissioned and executed under the vast umbrella of the federal government. With the admission that IT.USAspending.gov is in beta and might contain bugs, dead ends, and major gaps (the tag on the project site sets the we-know-we're-not-perfect-yet tone, calling the dashboard "a journey towards greater transparency and accountability") the site has ambitions of opening up a portal onto the tremendous sums of money spent on federal information technology projects that have an unfortunate history of going horribly, miserably, disastrously wrong.

To be sure, the data behind the dashboard has long been tracked by what's called "Exhibit 300s" submitted by agency CIOs to the White House's Office of Management and Budget. But the IT dashboard makes that information far more malleable and trackable (with the added bonus of some snazzy charts and graphs):

The IT Dashboard provides the public with an online window into the details of Federal information technology investments and provides users with the ability to track the progress of investments over time. The IT Dashboard displays data received from agency reports to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), including general information on over 7,000 Federal IT investments and detailed data for nearly 800 of those investments that agencies classify as "major". The performance data used to track the 800 major IT investments is based on milestone information displayed in agency reports to OMB called "Exhibit 300s" Agency CIOs are responsible for evaluating and updating select data on a monthly basis, which is accomplished through interfaces provided on the website.

Check out the site, dive into the data, and play around with the tools here -- including the ability to create an RSS feed to track your favorite (or least favorite) federal IT spending projects.

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