Food and Drug Administration officials should develop a more detailed and comprehensive strategic plan to guide the agencys overhaul of its outdated information technology systems, according to a newly released Government Accountability Office report.
After reviewing the agencys current planning efforts, GAO officials determined that while the FDA has developed two strategic documents for coordinating and managing modernization of its IT systems, the documents dont establish milestones and performance measures. The report recommended that the FDAs chief information officer be instructed to take action on several specific tasks, including setting milestones and a completion date for finalizing a comprehensive IT strategic plan, creating a funding and staff resource plan, and developing initiatives to address skills gaps as a part of the agencys strategic approach to IT human capital development.
In his response to the report, former acting Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein, now principal deputy commissioner, noted that the FDA agreed with many of the GAOs five recommendations and that it would incorporate them into the final draft of its IT modernization plan. The agency expects to present the management plan by the end of fiscal 2009.