GAO: Many Homeland Security agencies bring IT problems along

The new Homeland Security Department will inherit many of the IT management problems of its component agencies, the General Accounting Office reported Jan. 14.

GAO has made 592 recommendations on which the 22 agencies that will become part of the new department still need to take action, according to the report, ÒHomeland Security: Information Technology Funding and Associated Management Issues.Ó

Most of the open recommendations concern security, managing investments, implementing IT architectures or blueprints for systems development and creating or acquiring systems.

The most common unresolved recommendations have to do with security. GAO identified poor security as a widespread problem, and designated it a governmentwide high-risk area. The report said every agency that will join Homeland Security has exhibited weakness in program management for data security.

Agencies also showed weaknesses in implementing enterprise architectures. Of 15 agencies that provided auditors with data about their architectures, 11 were at level one or two on a five-point scale in their maturity. Only one agency, the Customs Service, has reached level five.

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