Opportunities to Improve Gao ID: AIMD-95-67R January 6, 1995

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed federal agencies' systems modernization efforts, focusing on the difficulties agencies have in applying information technology to their programs. GAO noted that: (1) federal agencies often do not reengineer their business processes before applying information technology to their programs; (2) agencies have not used information technology to simplify and streamline processes, improve customer service, and reduce personnel and overhead costs; (3) the Department of Agriculture, Veterans Benefits Administration, Social Security Administration, Department of Defense, and the Internal Revenue Service have implemented systems modernization efforts without analyzing and redesigning their current business processes; (4) the Administration is aggressively pursuing the nationwide use of electronic benefits transfer for various federal and state benefit programs, but the initiative does not address reengineering issues; and (5) if agencies do not refocus their systems modernization efforts on improving their business processes, they will waste millions of dollars automating existing systems that provide marginal or no customer service improvements.

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