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We reviewed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) information technology (IT) modernization roadmap.  A significant number of HUD’s mission-essential applications have not been modernized, which presents multiple sources of risk.  These applications are hosted on legacy information systems and mainframe platforms, which are operationally inefficient, increasingly difficult to secure, and costly to maintain.  Historically, HUD has failed to successfully implement multiple modernization plans and projects.  Leadership changes with shifting priorities and insufficient funding pose potential risk to modernization.  As a result, hundreds of millions of dollars in potential savings from modernization have not been realized, and security risks have remained.  Our objectives were to (1) determine the extent to which HUD has developed an IT modernization roadmap and to report on its current and future state, (2) gain an understanding of HUD’s IT modernization strategy and priorities, and (3) assess the effectiveness of the roadmap and strategy.

HUD’s recent efforts to modernize key IT systems that support its programs has been well managed and resulted in positive outcomes.  HUD made significant progress with implementing its multiyear modernization roadmap; formalizing its strategy for converting to modern technology; and delivering improved information systems.  HUD reported that these modernization efforts result in long-term cost savings and industry efficiencies.  Prior IT modernization efforts often failed, costing millions of dollars and lost resources.  HUD’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) developed an enterprisewide IT modernization roadmap in April 2020.  This roadmap includes initiatives within HUD program offices, enterprise capabilities, and improving technologies, such as migrating legacy mainframe platforms to modernized cloud technologies.  The roadmap includes initiatives and timelines based on an agile approach, which allows HUD to deliver new functionality incrementally, maximize flexibility, and adjust to shifting program office modernization priorities.  The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Office of Public and Indian Housing (PIH), and mainframe modernization were identified as priority modernization initiatives. 

This evaluation report contains two recommendations and five opportunities for improvement to assist in continued successes for future modernization efforts.

Recommendation Status Date Issued Summary
2021-OE-0003-01 Closed June 30, 2021

Develop an enterprise-wide IT modernization strategy that establishes a framework to align with the IT modernization roadmap.

Corrective Action Taken

In January, 2024, HUD provided an OCIO approved an IT Modernization strategy that established a framework that aligned with its IT modernization roadmap. The strategy addressed each of the recommendation components (a. roles and responsibilities, b. prioritization of modernization initiatives, c. coordination process between OCIO and program offices, d. phased approach, and e. how lessons learned will be captured.

This strategy will need to obtain HUD leadership approval and be communicated to all IT stakeholders, which is recommendation #2 from this evaluation. Recommendation #2 remains open as of March 6, 2024.

2021-OE-0003-02 Open June 30, 2021 Obtain the proper approval and communicate the IT modernization strategy to all appropriate stakeholders, including HUD program offices.