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October 22, 2007
Contact: OMB Communications, 202-395-7254


Washington, DC – Agencies are more effectively managing their Information Technology investments, according to a report released today by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). According to the updated information on the Management Watch List and High Risk List, Federal agencies have shown progress in planning, managing, and monitoring their IT investments. These lists can be found at: /omb/egov/b-1-information.html

“Agencies continue to make progress in establishing effective management practices supporting their IT portfolio,” said Karen Evans, Administrator E-Government and Information Technology. “Today’s report indicates agencies are increasing their own oversight and focus on achieving results for the taxpayers. The increase in the High Risk List of projects illustrates the effective use of reporting through the life cycle of the investment. Investments where we continue to have issues will now be managed through the quarterly process associated with this list.”

Status of Management Watch List

As of September 30, 2007, there were 134 business cases remaining on the Management Watch List, compared to 346 in February 2007 when the President released his FY2008 budget request, a decline of 61 percent over almost seven months.

Agencies were able to adequately address deficiencies and weaknesses identified in these 212 investments by mitigating planning deficiencies, or in some cases, providing and completing additional documentation supporting their management activities. The 134 business cases remaining on the Management Watch List represent at least $8.4 billion in projected IT investment for FY 2008, a $1.3 billion decrease since April, 2007. The associated projects included in the 134 remaining business cases have been added to agency High Risk Lists, requiring reporting on performance of these projects in their future High Risk Reports if they were not already doing so.

Status of High Risk List

The High Risk List includes 603 projects that were determined to be high risk due to different factors, such as complexity, scope or level of importance. This is an increase of 50 additional projects from the last release in August 2007. The 603 projects represent an overall 10 percent increase on the High Risk List since the release of the President’s FY08 Budget in February. This increase is attributable to increased management oversight reported by agencies – in other words, we have increasingly better information about the projects. The 603 projects on this list represent at least $15.5 billion in IT spending for FY08.

Background on the Two Lists

Under the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, agencies are required to submit business plans for IT investments to OMB. If the agency’s investment plan contains one or more planning weaknesses, it’s placed on OMB’s Management Watch List and targeted for follow-up action to correct potential planning deficiencies prior to execution. In August 2005, OMB established a High Risk List for IT projects to complement the Management Watch List which focuses on planning aspects for major investments and performance data to ensure agencies and programs are meeting their intended goals and achieving results. Projects on the High Risk List are those requiring special attention from the highest level of agency management, but aren't projects necessarily “at risk” of failure.