Federal information systems are rife with dysfunction, costing taxpayers billions.

[Commentary] Dysfunctional information systems are endemic in the federal government. Officials’ incessant talk about living in a 21st-century information society that can generate “big data” to help solve our problems diverts attention from the stubborn truth: Many government agencies and programs operate in an informational stone age.

If there is any good news in these failures, it is that there is vast room for improvement. Data systems should be field-tested so that they are ready for prime time, as the health exchanges were not. And the Government Accountability Office’s valuable watchdog efforts should be vastly expanded. We must see information for what it is: vital to effective government but harmful when inaccurate.

Read more: Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2013
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