Jason Miller posted an enlightening article, reporting on Karen Evans’ intention to have agencies turn off duplicative systems. In past years, funding for IT that duplicated functionality in government-wide systems (e.g. Grants.gov’s find and apply) was cut. Now, though, OMB is asking agencies to actively identify their unique requirements and justify continued investment in them. This is a more proactive approach to eliminating duplicative costs, embedded as it is in budgeting mechanisms. While it presents challenges for government IT administrators, and has potential to create a large amount of overhead in cost justification and the like, it is of course absolutely the right way to proceed.
Chopping down the forests of errant systems and investments will take funding and effort — just like weeding an unkempt back yard — and it’s a necessary measure to keep and improve our government’s operations.