The Government Accountability Office offered criticisms and recommendations on the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") Data Center Optimization Initiative ("DCOI").

The GAO criticized the OMB's June 2019 decision to narrow the definition of a data center, which resulted in approximately 2,000 facilities no longer being reported on by agencies in 2018. According to the GAO, the definition should be restored to its prior version, given the cybersecurity issues associated with those facilities. The report also highlighted agency DCOI strategic plan vulnerabilities, which includes the lack of annual closure goal reporting and requiring the GAO to calculate those goals manually. The GAO also emphasized the hardships that six agencies will face in realizing full DCOI benefits, due to their lack of plans for meeting fiscal year cost-saving or data center closure targets.

Recommendations

The GAO recommends that the Director of the OMB should:

  • compel agencies to explicitly document in their DCOI plans their annual data center closure goals, and to track said goals on their IT Dashboards;

  • require agencies to report all facilities reported previously as data centers within their quarterly inventory submission, regardless of whether those facilities are subject to DCOI closure and optimization requirements;

  • document OMB decisions on the approval of individual data centers designated as either (i) mission-critical facilities or (ii) facilities not subject to DCOI; and

  • address missing key performance measurement characteristics from DCOI optimization metrics.