Interior should ramp up videoconferencing, IG says

The Interior Department should increase its use of videoconferencing, an Interior inspector general report has found.

The IG estimated Interior spent $42.4 million on travel in 2009 and lacks an official policy on the use of videoconferencing as an alternative to travel. Improving videoconferencing efforts would cut the department's travel costs as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report, which was released Dec. 20, 2011, and reported on Monday by Federal Computer Week.

Interior has 315 videoconferencing endpoints nationwide, with most concentrated in Denver; Anchorage, Alaska; and Washington. The equipment at these locations is not being used to its full potential due to low motivation and a lack of employee knowledge about its availability, according to the report.

Interior should craft an official policy for promoting videoconferencing, ensuring the equipment is compatible, and interconnecting throughout the department and aligning equipment to specific cities based on frequency of air travel, the IG recommended. The department also should post information on its internal website to increase awareness and encourage equipment sharing.

The department could save up to $22.4 million annually by videoonferencing more often, the IG estimated.

While Interior agreed with most of the recommendations, it did not concur that videoconferencing equipment should be aligned to specific cities without additional analysis. Instead, the department plans to conduct its own study to determine viable locations to focus its efforts. Interior also did not believe that increasing use of videoconferencing would reduce greenhouse gases.

Interior plans to complete all its recommendations as part of its chief information officer's IT transformation initiative by Dec. 31.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.