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Connolly, Johnson Statement on GAO Report on IT Acquisition in U.S. Courts

Today, Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, and Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, released the following statement in response to the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO)  report on the status of IT acquisition and management by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOUSC). Connolly and Johnson originally requested the report from GAO in September of 2020.

“This report does not paint a pretty picture of the status of information technology acquisition and management by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.  Simply put, it looks like the AOUSC doesn’t know how much its IT projects will cost, doesn’t have a handle on how IT’s money is spent, and doesn’t even know if its IT employees have the right skills and training.  

GAO documents that the AOUSC had no comprehensive cost estimates for the IT projects it evaluated, poorly constructed project schedules, routinely allowed serious cost overruns, and neglected its legal obligations to ensure that user fees are properly spent.  Furthermore, GAO’s report reveals a total lack of unified leadership across the IT enterprise.  It is telling that the AOUSC refused to agree to implement any of the 18 recommendations GAO has included in its report, and these will be an intense focus of continued Congressional oversight. We will also expect the AOUSC to work with us to establish in statute to position of Chief Information Officer for the AOUSC as GAO recommended in its report.”

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