7 Government IT Projects That Failed…At Taxpayer Expense

Friday, November 27, 2009

For every Internet creation and Global Positioning System development the government has produced, it also has had its share of IT failures. And costly failures at that. Washington Technology has chosen seven of the biggest crashes by federal and state agencies, totaling billions of tax dollars wasted.

The FBI has been trying for almost a decade to come up with a computer system for tracking criminal cases, during which it switched contractors. More than $600 million later, the bureau is still trying to get Sentinel (which replaced VCF) on line, pushing back its latest launch date (next month) to September 2010.
In terms of sheer length of time, and cost, the IRS easily beats the FBI’s failure. Beginning more than 20 years ago, IRS officials tried to get its Business System Modernization working, spending $2 billion as of 1995. That cost had risen to $3.3 billion by 1999, before the IRS started over with a new contractor (CSC), which was awarded a $5 billion deal. Today, the latest effort (Customer Account Data Engine) has been put on hold.
In June, the Missile Defense Agency canceled the anti-missile program known as the Kinetic Energy Interceptor after Northrup Grumman had already spent $1.2 billion of taxpayer money on it.
The other failures are the Secure Borders Initiative, a Navy-Marine Corps intranet project and programs in Texas and Mississippi.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
IT Turkeys: 7 Government Projects Worthy of a Roast (by Kevin McCaney, Washington Technology)


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