Executive Guide_ Leading Practices in Capital Decision-Making

U.S. Government Accountability Office
Federal spending on major physical capital investments is projected to total more than $68 billion in fiscal year 1999. Past management problems and years of budget restraints have underscored the need to strengthen capital decision-making and management. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and GAO have been promoting better decision-making practices to help ensure that the purchase of new assets and infrastructure have the highest and most efficient returns to the taxpayer and to the government and that existing assets will be adequately repaired and maintained. This executive guide summarizes 12 fundamental practices that have been successfully implemented by organizations recognized for their outstanding capital decision-making practices. It also provides examples of leading practices from which the federal government may be able to draw lessons. In 1994 and 1995, GAO worked with OMB to produce guidance on evaluating information technology investments. GAO produced a leading practices guide in that instance as well and later produced additional guidance on information technology investments. The information provided in OMB's Capital Programming Guide and in this GAO executive guide applies to all forms of capital investment, including information technology, and should be used in conjunction with other GAO and OMB information technology guidance.
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