Report Summary

Title: Lost Opportunities for Efficiencies and Savings During Data Center Consolidation
Report Number: 16-04396-44 Download
Issue Date: 1/30/2019
VA Office: Veterans Health Administration (VHA)
Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA)
National Cemetery Administration (NCA)
Office of Information and Technology (OIT)
Report Author: Office of Audits and Evaluations
Report Type: Audit
Release Type: Unrestricted

The VA Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted this audit to determine whether VA met the data center requirements of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. The OIG found that VA did not maintain complete and updated data center inventories or include sufficient plans for meeting the consolidation requirements, cost savings targets, and optimization targets for data centers at existing VA facilities. As a result, VA did not meet the Office of Management and Budget’s Fiscal Year FY 2018 target of $85.35 million in planned savings and cost avoidances.

VA did not meet these requirements because the Office of Information & Technology (OIT) Deputy Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Service Delivery and Engineering communicated standards and reporting requirements to only OIT staff. Non-OIT staff who maintain information technology (IT) systems, including those with data center management responsibilities, were not notified.

Also, VA’s National Data Center did not have an effective process to confirm the accuracy of reported data center information. The OIG found that without an accurate inventory of data centers or credible plans to increase efficiency and achieve savings, VA will continue to operate in an IT environment that is at greater risk for duplication and waste.

This audit also examined an OIG Hotline complaint from March 2016 related to a potential data center leasing issue. The OIG investigated the complaint that funds were improperly spent but did not substantiate it.

The OIG recommended VA determine which servers are subject to June 2017 Data Center Optimization Initiative guidance, communicate requirements to all staff responsible for VA data centers, validate the accuracy and completeness of reported data center information, establish a VA-wide data center inventory process, and ensure the Data Center Optimization Initiative strategic plan is complete and aligns to target goals.