back to article Exhibit 3,021: Millions wasted on US govt IT due to poor oversight, audit finds

A sweeping US government IT program has paid millions of dollars to contractors who may not even have performed the work, says the DoD's Inspector General's Office, and it's placing the blame mostly on unqualified overseers. The OIG released a report this week on the $17.5 billion ENCORE III [PDF] program that found a number …

  1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Cor! What a waste


  2. navarac Bronze badge

    UK as well

    Normally the par in the UK as well - probably all governments. After all, it isn't "their" money!. Oversight usually provided by incompetents who keep changing the goalposts of requirements.

  3. b0llchit Silver badge

    Profitable niche

    Probably the most profitable niche is doing work for a government on a subject they have no clue about but need because "everybody is telling you" it needs to be done. Nobody knows what needs to be done and there is a huge pile of money available.

    When you have the talk-to-the-right-persons skill and posses the how-to-fill-out-government-forms skill, then you are set for life with rather little effort. Its just a game.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: Profitable niche

      Yep, chances are those millions aren't wasted for everybody...

      (We need a "pork barrel" icon)

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Profitable niche

      A big thing with government jobs is that once you're in, it's awfully hard to be tossed out. Unless, of course, you drag and steal luggage at airports. Incompetence isn't a sacking offense.

  4. ExampleOne

    So, out of what? 1.74 billion dollars of spend analysed, 25 million dollars was wasted? That doesn’t sound that unreasonable actually.

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      It’s barely 2% pah!

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      With 5 of 48 orders analyzed. So it's probably more like $250M wasted,or 1/7. That sounds pretty unreasonable.

      And that's just wasted in this fashion. How much waste for overpriced products? How much for systems that are not fit for purpose, or are significantly less productive than they should be?

      1. ExampleOne

        Did you miss I had reduced the total budget from 17.4 billion to account for that 5/48 factor?

  5. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Poor planning

    For very big projects, spending money on the front end to adequately define the scope and also the performance expectations is important. It also has to be documented in plain language that should also be reviewed by another separate group to see if it makes sense. I'm going through that now with a very small project where I'm working with somebody on the other side of the planet who was born and raised using another language. I'm spending plenty of time documenting so I'm not wasting their time having to redo code due to poor descriptions on my part.

    Not only does the start up have to be done right, it should also include milestones that can be checked as the project progresses so errors are caught early. I'm not a fan of huge monolithic "one code base to rule them all" programs. Scope bloat often makes for unsupportable projects.

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