Trendy Publication Criticizes Redundant Programs

September 16, 2013

I don’t do much work in any government these days. Too old, I suppose. I also don’t have any interaction with trendy blogs and with-it thinkers. I have a a couple of friends who are about 70, and we talk about topics other than technology.

I did read “US Government Blew $321 Million on Redundant IT Programs.” The main point is that out of $82 billion, the news service pointed out that $321 is duplicative expense. I am not too good at math, but I think that $321 million represents less than one percent of the alleged $82 billion. My math skills are not what they used to be, but the percent looks somewhere around 0.00391463414. In short, trivial, a rounding error maybe?

Based on my own experience accrued since I joined Halliburton NUS in 1972 working in the Washington, DC vineyards, my hunch is that the $321 million number is incorrect. If the number were correct, the US government and its elected overseers are doing an outstanding job. In fact, the sole source for the report is the US government itself which is giving itself a GSA style iPad award.

My question, “Is the General Accountability Office study accurate?” I think digging into the US government’s methodology, the time period of the study, and the verification / validation process of the methods used are important. For example, how did the GAO reconcile the different terminology used for information technology acquisitions?

As it stands, the report from GAO and the article makes it clear that the government is doing a better job of managing than I thought possible. In fact, if the GAO study is accurate, the US government has improved its management of procurement in the last decade. I find this management excellent big news. Harvard Business Review will be panting for an analysis of this achievement.

I don’t pant. I just sigh.

Most Fortune 1000 firms have five or more enterprise search systems. None of these work particularly well. Now that’s redundancy.

Stephen E Arnold, September 16, 2013


One Response to “Trendy Publication Criticizes Redundant Programs”

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