Department of Veterans Affairs System Development Life Cycle Process
September 30, 2009
The Office of Inspector General conducted an audit to determine whether VA’s Office of Information and Technology (OI&T) effectively and efficiently used the System Devleopment Life Cycle (SDLC) process to manage VA’s major IT investments valued at approximately $3.4 billion. Although VA’s SDLC guide was adequate, OI&T needed to communicate and enforce the guidance to ensure major investments are effectively managed. Additionally, OI&T did not adequately monitor investments because they never fully centralized their management functions as they relate to the SDLC process. As a result, OI&T could not ensure investments were managed effectively and efficiently, leaving VA’s IT investment portfolio at risk. Given that OI&T is the steward of VA’s IT investments and responsible for managing a comprehensive IT investment portfolio, it is vital that immediate action be taken to implement management controls to ensure centralized oversight of VA’s IT investments. Otherwise, these management control deficiencies increase the risk that VA’s major IT investments could experience cost and schedule overruns which could ultimately lead to costly, unproductive, or failed programs and projects. The Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology agreed with our four recommendations and provided acceptable planned actions. Implementing these recommendations is expected to facilitate the implementation of management controls, ensure centralized management of VA’s IT investments, improve risk management and improve the overall governance of VA’s IT investments. We will follow up on their implementation until all proposed actions have been completed.