GAO warns: Reporting failures could sink federal data center consolidation

Out of 24 agencies surveyed by the GAO, 17 did not provide full reporting information on energy usage.

As reported in Politico and elsewhere, for the second consecutive year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that the overwhelming majority of federal agencies required to consolidate data centers under an Obama administration plan are submitting documents that are lacking key metrics such as full cost-benefit analysis results, energy usage reporting, and required cost savings information.

According to the reports, out of 24 agencies surveyed by GAO, 17 did not provide full information on energy usage; 21 agencies did not fully report their expected cost savings. The GAO says that a large part of the reason that federal agencies’ inventories remain incomplete is the challenge presented by gathering data center power information. Citing a lack of structure and accountability, the GAO warns that, given the present circumstances, the government's data center consolidation plan may not reach full potential cost savings by its target date.

Download the full GAO report, DATA CENTER CONSOLIDATION: Agencies Making Progress on Efforts, but Inventories and Plans Need to Be Completed (PDF)

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