White House May Overhaul Some $30 Billion in Troubled Tech Projects

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White HouseObama's administration is getting a taste of running the government more like a business each day.

Its latest brush comes with approximately $30 billion in technology projects that are running over budget, failing to deliver as promised or both -- leading the White House to consider retooling over two dozen of these technology projects, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

For corporate America, technology projects that run late, bust the budget and fail to deliver are far from rare events. Now the Obama administration is feeling the pain like other corporate chief information officers. The White House can add this experience to the lessons it has learned from owning General Motors.

Billion-Dollar Bungles

The Obama administration is toying with the idea of overhauling these projects and possibly chopping them into bite-sized initiatives, according to the report. The White House, however, is apparently not willing to scrap the projects all together.

Here's a snapshot of some of the billion-dollar bungles in the report:

  • $7.8 billion Interior Department IT consolidation project: After spending half the money to date on hundreds of data centers and thousands of servers, employees remain on different e-mail systems.
  • $2.8 billion Treasury Department project: It aims to update the department's computer network and telecommunications systems, but 45 data centers remain dead in the water in supporting next generation Internet technologies.
  • $2 billion Air Force Logistics project: More than a quarter of this cost is already spent, but the project is estimated to be years away from hitting the go button.
In June, the White House refused to cough up $3 billion for some of these approved projects that were behind schedule or over budget, according to the Journal. And new fund allocations for these projects are on ice as administration folks dig deeper in their review. The report cited Accenture (ACN), IBM (IBM), Oracle (ORCL) and AT&T (T) as having involvement with these projects.
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