GAO Information Technology: Agencies Need to Develop and Implement Modernization Plans for Critical Legacy Systems

The U.S. government plans to spend over $100 billion this fiscal year on information technology. Most of that will be used to operate and maintain existing systems, including aging (also called “legacy”) systems. These systems can be more costly to maintain and vulnerable to hackers.

This testimony discusses our work in this area. We analyzed 65 federal legacy systems and identified the 10 most critical at 10 agencies, including the Departments of Defense and the Treasury. The systems were 8 to 51 years old. Three agencies had no documented plans to modernize. Two had plans that included key practices for success.

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