OIG Follow-Up Finds That the Bureau of Information Technology Has Substantially Addressed Most IT Investment Issues, but Still Needs to Improve Project Cost Estimates

The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed a follow-up to its December 2019 Audit of the Management of Information Technology Investments by the former Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT). Based on the response, OIG concludes that DoIT—which has since been incorporated into the Department of Assets, Information, and Services (AIS) as the Bureau of Information Technology— has fully implemented five out of eleven audit recommendations, substantially implemented four, and partially implemented two.

The purpose of the December 2019 audit was to determine whether DoIT managed information technology (IT) investments in accordance with the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s IT Investment Management framework. We concluded that DoIT did not consistently adhere to best practices for project selection, thereby increasing the risks of projects delivering fewer benefits, costing more, and/or taking longer than expected to complete. In addition, DoIT’s data collection practices hampered effective monitoring and evaluation of project and portfolio performance. OIG made several recommendations to improve internal policies and industry best practices with respect to project selection, monitoring, and evaluation; DoIT agreed and described the corrective actions it would take.

Based on the follow-up response, AIS has updated its Project Management Office Handbook and required project managers to follow it; developed procedures for collecting more robust data for project selection; implemented new project management tools; and established monthly Information Technology Governance Board (ITGB) meetings. AIS has made many improvements; however, the Department should still add full life cycle costs (such as maintenance and ongoing support) to its project estimates, and work with the Office of Budget and Management and the Mayor’s Office to ensure that all City departments submit their IT project requests to ITGB for review and approval.

“Technology is crucial to City departments’ ability to provide the services that support businesses and individuals which keep our communities thriving. AIS’ Bureau of Information Technology plays a key role in managing the City’s enterprise-wide selection and evaluation of new IT systems and upgrades,” said Inspector General Joe Ferguson. “Fully implementing the remaining recommendations will help AIS ensure that IT projects deliver expected benefits on time and within budget, which is of paramount importance in the City’s current fiscal climate and in the service of future Citywide service and system innovation efforts.”

The full report can be found online at OIG’s website: bit.ly/DoITFollowUp

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The mission of the independent and non-partisan City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) is to promote economy, effectiveness, efficiency, and integrity by identifying corruption, waste, and mismanagement in City government. OIG is a watchdog for the taxpayers of the City and has jurisdiction to conduct investigations and audits into most aspects of City government. If you see corruption, fraud, or waste of any kind, we need to hear from you. For more information, visit our website at: www.igchicago.org.