Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor
Financial Audit Division

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Report Summary
Oversight of Information Technology Projects
Information Technology Audit

 

Financial Audit Division Report 09-19 Released May 29, 2009

Conclusion

The Office of Enterprise Technology (OET) did not maintain a complete, consistent, and accurate inventory of information technology projects or develop a method to prioritize and approve projects across state agencies. State agencies did not have effective processes to inventory, analyze, prioritize, and authorize information technology projects.

In addition, the Office of Enterprise Technology provided inconsistent oversight of project management controls and did not gather and report information on project performance. State agencies did not effectively monitor information technology projects to ensure that projects achieved their objectives and were completed on time and on budget. The state did not have an effective post-project evaluation process.

In some cases, the Office of Enterprise Technology and state agencies did not comply with statutory and policy requirements related to project portfolio management and project management objectives.

The report contains four findings related to internal control deficiencies and noncompliance with statutory and state policy requirements.

Findings

  • The Office of Enterprise Technology’s policies and practices did not conform to statutory requirements and did not clearly designate the responsibility for project approval.
  • The Office of Enterprise Technology’s project portfolio was incomplete and inaccurate.
  • The Office of Enterprise Technology did not provide sufficient standards to guide agencies in the development of acceptable project management methodologies. In addition, it did not review agencies’ compliance with its policy.
  • The Office of Enterprise Technology and the agencies did not use methodology sufficient to determine reasonable project cost estimates and did not adequately track the total actual project costs.

Audit Objective

Our audit objective was to answer the following questions:

  • Did the state have adequate project portfolio management controls to ensure that benefits of information technology investments were maximized?
  • Did the state have adequate project management controls to promote the successful completion of projects by implementing controls that helped ensure projects were properly planned, executed, monitored, and closed?

Audit Scope

The audit scope included projects completed between July 1, 2006, and June 30, 2008, and projects in progress as of July 1, 2008.

Background

Minnesota government relies heavily on its use of information technology to collect, process, store, and report information related to the programs and services it provides and the management of its operations. Each year, state agencies undertake projects to develop new computer systems or update existing computer systems. These projects range from small and low cost to very large, complex, and expensive.

OET’s Planning and Portfolio Management Division has responsibility for conducting state level project portfolio management practices and establishing project portfolio and project management standards for the state.

More Information

Office of the Legislative Auditor ♦ Room 140, 658 Cedar St., St. Paul, MN 55155