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FCW : August 15, 2013
The federal government spends more than $80 billion a year on IT, with some portion of that money paying for the operation and maintenance of about 7,100 data centers. And yet the govern- ment still might not know how many centers it has. David Powner, director of IT man- agement issues at the Government Accountability Office, sparked a debate with lawmakers clearly trou- bled by that assessment when he testi- ed at a July 25 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee s Government Operations Subcommittee. His testimony followed recent news that the Of ce of Management and Budget had signi cantly underes- timated the number of data centers involved in the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative. The latest total of about 7,100 is 4,000 more than OMB has publicly proclaimed for the past two years. The new number came from GAO s follow-up audit work on FDCCI, Pown- er told the subcommittee. OMB, which shares oversight responsibilities for FDCCI with the General Services Administration and a joint task force, added to the tally during a recent Capi- tol Hill brie ng. The news didn t sit well with sub- committee members. "In April 2013, we were told there were 3,133 data centers," Subcom- mittee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said. "Now we re told it s over 7,000. That s kind of a slight miscalculation." He then asked Powner if 7,100 is the nal tally. House lawmakers troubled by data center updates FCW CALENDAR (Cyber) Biometrics U.S. Cyber Command's Maj. Gen. Tom Thomas Jr. is among the speakers at the third annual Human Cyber Forensics Forum, which focuses on indicators and metrics of virtual human behaviors. Washington, D.C. http://is.gd/aticop laws were passed by Congress in the rst seven months of 2013 18 Trending "I wouldn t put my money on it," Powner said. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said OMB knew as far back as June 2012 that there were at least 6,700 data cen- ters, according to a recent brie ng by OMB. In response, U.S. CIO Steven Van- Roekel said he did not want agencies haphazardly closing small data centers and stuf ng them into existing cen- ters because the focus should be on optimization. One reason for the uc- tuating numbers, he added, is that the de nition of a data center has changed since the FDCCI work began. Mica criticized FDCCI s effective- ness and OMB s leadership. "From a consolidation standpoint, it looks like we re stuck in neutral or [have] gone in reverse," he said. Furthermore, PortfolioStat and TechStat, two other OMB-led initia- tives, have had problems mixed with successes, Mica said. Although FDCCI s savings are thus far below goals set by OMB, Portfolio- Stat is beginning to produce large sav- ings and TechStat has saved $4 billion since 2010, according to VanRoekel. PortfolioStat involves face-to-face, evidence-based reviews of an agency s IT portfolio, and TechStat is a similar review of a speci c IT investment. During the hearing, VanRoekel revealed that PortfolioStat has achieved $885 million in cost sav- ings and avoidance since its launch in March 2012. To date, PortfolioStat --- which now includes FDCCI --- has identi ed more than $2.5 billion in cost reductions, VanRoekel said. --- Frank Konkel Cybersecurity The 22nd annual USENIX Security Symposium will feature Edward Felten, director of the Center for IT Policy at Princeton, and Andy Ozment, senior director of cybersecurity at the White House. Washington, D.C. http://is.gd/oqutec August 15, 2013 FCW.COM 3 8/21 8/14-16 GAO's David Powner told lawmakers that a follow-up audit revealed that there are 7,100 federal data centers, but he would not rule out further changes to that tally. FLICKR.COM/OVERSIGHT
July 30, 2013
August 30, 2013