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Rail News: Amtrak

OIG: Amtrak should improve IT project requirements


Amtrak could have saved $17.9 million in cost overruns on information technology (IT) projects if it more clearly defined the projects' requirements, the Amtrak Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced in a report this week.

Amtrak officials agreed with the OIG's findings that the following three factors contributed to unclear or incomplete technology project requirements, OIG officials said in a press release:

  • Business department staff did not understand their responsibilities in working with the IT department to clearly define project requirements;
  • Amtrak did not resource some projects with sufficient IT and/or business staff; and
  • Project teams did not include staff from the appropriate business departments.

Improving the technology project process could have helped Amtrak to avoid schedule delays, in some cases totaling more than a year, and $17.9 million in cost overruns in four out of 11 projects reviewed, officials said.

The OIG recommended that Amtrak clarify roles to ensure that assigned staff better understand their responsibilities. In addition, Amtrak should develop a process to identify and plan for the company’s technology resource needs beyond 2022 because its IT and business departments do not have a process to coordinate long-term technology resource needs, the report stated.