To support a Make/Buy Business Case to Successfully Respond to an Inspector General (IG) Audit
This document provides an overview of the service PRICE Systems has provided to a Federal Program Agency to support a major IT modernization Project, which helped the Federal Agency pass an Inspector General (IG) audit. The selected case study was a Make/Buy analysis. Because the case study involves an analysis conducted to respond to an IG audit, the paper will review the methodology and steps undertaken by both the government and contractor from completing and delivering the estimate, analyzing the benefits of the COTS implementation scenario, answering specific detailed questions to the audit, to receiving Program Office acknowledgement of the tremendous value of the Cost Estimation (in accordance with GAO guidelines). Moreover, the audit set the trail for the program office to conduct future estimates in similar manner.
2 The IT modernization Project
In order to support a business requirement, the program Office and its sole-source vendor developed a Business Case supporting the acquisition of a COTS product. This 2000- 2001 Business Case evaluated three scenarios: 1) build; 2) purchase a COTS package and modify it to Program Office’s specifications; and 3) hire additional staff. In 2003, the IG requested the supporting documentation for the first scenario (build), and the IG’s review of the submitted data failed to satisfy their audit standards. Thus, PRICE Systems was asked to provide an IGCE of the “build” scenario.
The final IGCE and Basis of Estimate were submitted to the Program Office in March 2006. The IGCE has been well-received by both the Program Office and the IG.
This analysis represents an example of a cost analysis which has been reviewed and validated by an external group and may help to serve future estimators identify some of the key concerns and issues often addressed in an external audit.
Savita Choudhry is a senior executive consultant at PRICE Systems Government Solution Division. She provides consulting services to clients in the area of software cost estimation for large complex software projects conducts, IGCEs for Federal Program Offices and conducts seminars and webinars on software cost estimation methodologies and products. Earlier she worked with Wyle Labs supporting the Air force Cost Analysis Agency and the FAA. Savita has been a member of SSCAG where she has presented papers and briefings on software size and cost estimation and also has helped train students for their SCEA certification exam. Earlier, Savita has worked as a Senior Operations Officer for the World Bank focusing on Africa and South Asia. Savita is a certified cost estimator/ analyst.