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OMB Letterhead

October 23, 2008
Contact: OMB Communications, 202-395-7254


Washington, DC — Today the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released its final Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Information Technology (IT) Management Watch List (MWL) and the IT OMB High Risk List (HRL). OMB has been working with agencies to more effectively manage their IT investments. According to the updated information, Federal agencies have shown progress in their efforts for how they plan, manage, and monitor their IT investments.

OMB also announced the launch of a new tool, VUE-IT, or Visualization for Understanding Expenditures in Information Technology. VUE-IT is a tool for better understanding the Federal IT investments through the lenses of the MWL and the HRL. VUE-IT can be found at

“VUE-IT enables greater transparency into Federal IT investments so taxpayers can view at their fingertips where are we planning to allocate resources, which investments have management or planning challenges, and why,” said Karen Evans, Administrator for E-Government and Information Technology. “VUE-IT makes the data we have already put into the public domain much more accessible and useful.”

FY 2008 (Q4) IT MWL

As of September 30, 2008, there were 216 major IT investments remaining on the MWL, representing over $20 billion in FY 2009 IT budget requests. The 216 investments represent a 63 percent decline from the original MWL of 585 investments announced in February with the President's Budget release. This large decrease was largely due to improved agency inspector general (IG) assessments of the agency's Certification and Accreditation process and the agency's Privacy Impact Assessment process.

FY 2008 (Q4) IT HRL

The High Risk List (HRL) now includes 549 projects that were determined to be high risk due to varying factors, such as complexity of the project, scope or level of importance. There was a significant jump in the number of projects (216) on the Final FY 2008 HRL, due to OMB's policy of moving all Q4 MWL investments to the HRL. These 549 projects represent over $26 billion in FY 2009 IT budget requests. Even with the list including the Q4 FY2008 MWL investments, the 549 HRL projects still represent a 9 percent decline from the original HRL of 601 projects announced in February with the President's Budget release. To continue to foster transparency, OMB has continued to release the reasons for inclusion on the HRL.

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 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.

For more information please go to the E-Government web site,