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Audit Report: IG-0586

February 21, 2003

Information System Development Practices at the Bonneville and Western Area Power Administrations

Our review of 11 major projects (see Appendix 1) disclosed that information systems development activities were not always consistent with Federal requirements or guidance. We found development problems with nine of the projects. For example: • Key planning activities such as cost-benefit analyses had not been performed for eight of the projects we reviewed; • Evaluations of suitability of potential software solutions were often inadequate or had not been performed; • Many projects were not adequately monitored and controlled throughout their lifecycle, and project baselines and plans were not revisited in light of scope changes or delays; and, • For 6 of the 11 projects reviewed, reengineering studies designed to improve business processes before beginning development had not been conducted. In addition, Bonneville and Western did not consistently include all relevant project costs in accounting for its development efforts.