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Special Report: DOE/IG-0905

April 3, 2014

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Integrated Resource and Information System 

To help streamline its business processes and enhance communications among employees, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) initiated the development of the Integrated Resource and Information System (IRIS) project in October 2012.  At the time of our review, EERE had spent over $7 million on the project and planned to budget an additional $3.6 million for IRIS through December 2014.

The Office of Inspector General received two complaints regarding the EERE IRIS development effort.  Both complaints alleged improprieties with contract and project management.  Among other things, it was alleged that officials managing the IRIS project ignored the Department's structured capital planning and investment control process for IT investments and failed to follow procurement and contracting guidelines and requirements.  In addition, it was alleged that the project lacked effective oversight controls to enable Federal managers to monitor progress against baseline costs, schedules, performance and expected benefits, which resulted in significant cost overruns and implementation delays without producing any results. 

Our review largely substantiated the allegations related to contract and project management.  We discovered that EERE had not effectively managed the development and implementation of IRIS.  In particular, EERE failed to follow the Department's structured capital planning and investment control process and had not provided effective monitoring of the project. 

Our review also revealed problems with the work environment and poor morale within EERE that may have adversely impacted program operations, including IRIS development.  Finally, a number of individuals we spoke with indicated that they were pressured or feared retaliation by senior management if they cooperated with the Office of Inspector General. Management concurred with the report's recommendations and indicated that it had initiated corrective actions to address our recommendations.

 Topic: Management & Administration