WASHINGTON — A new inspector general report says the Obama administration’s “18F” project to create its own version of a Silicon Valley high-tech startup is foundering.
The program has lost nearly $32 million since 2014, as its staff spent most of its time on unbillable work.
It was intended to create an elite branch of the General Services Administration with creative, tech-savvy employees who could quickly re-engineer any government agency’s website or improve other digital projects. It was funded under a model that envisioned it would earn back more money than it cost to run.
The report published Monday says senior managers overestimated the money their projects would recoup, increased hiring and devoted less than half the program’s staff time to projects for which it could bill other federal agencies.