The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) needs to improve its IT investments management, according to a new SEC Office of Inspector General (OIG) report.

OIG found that the SEC spent about $307 million on 515 IT investments in fiscal year 2018, marking an increase in the agency’s funding for IT initiatives from FY2017. However, OIG also noted that the SEC’s management of steady state investments – which “maintain and operate IT assets in a production environment” – needs improvement.

Further, OIG said that “the SEC can better manage and document deviations from approved plans for investments to develop, modernize, and enhance IT assets,” and that the SEC’s Office of IT needs to improve its hardware asset investment planning documentation.

“Without such processes, the SEC risks hardware assets in use reaching their end-of-life/end-of-service, thereby increasing the risk of equipment failure and the potential for data loss,” OIG added.

The report also details that the SEC’s Office of Acquisitions did not adequately document cost estimates for extensions of two IT contracts.

OIG issued recommendations to help the SEC improve its IT investment management, including suggestions to:

  • Update SEC capital planning and investment control policies and procedures;
  • Provide training to personnel with investment oversight and program management responsibilities; and
  • Improve SEC contract management by establishing documentation requirements for thoroughly supporting independent government cost estimates.

SEC management agreed with the recommendations.

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