GAO Audit Finds HHS Is Meeting Federal Goal for Using Cloud Computing

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A new Government Accountability Office audit has found that HHS is among five agencies that are meeting the federal government's goals for expanding the use of cloud computing, Modern Healthcare reports.

For the audit, GAO reviewed seven randomly selected federal agencies' progress in adopting cloud computing.

Two of the agencies -- the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Small Business Administration -- did not meet the Office of Management and Budget's June 2012 goal of implementing cloud computing in three service areas.

How HHS Met the Goal

According to the audit, HHS met OMB's goal by adopting cloud computing in three areas:

  • Grants solutions;
  • MedWatch, which is FDA's system for reporting adverse medical events; and
  • An audit resolution tracking management system.

Shortcomings in Cloud Computing Plans

GAO also found that all but one of the seven agencies reviewed were lacking key elements of their cloud computing plans.

For example, HHS failed to document certain data related to moving its MedWatch and grants solutions programs to a cloud-based system, the audit found.

HHS Response

In response to the audit, HHS officials said they needed more guidance to help them comply with OMB's cloud computing goals.

They noted that OMB issued the cloud computing requirements before offering guidance on implementing the changes (Daly, Modern Healthcare, 7/12).


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