Politics blamed for feds' reliance on old IT

The U.S. government is spending more than $81 billion on information technology. But only about 24% is spent overall on new systems, with the rest being used to maintain old systems.

The Social Security Administration, for instance, has more than 60 million lines of Cobol, the agency’s Office of Inspector General reported last month.

And the U.S. Defense Department is running some nuclear weapons support systems on an IBM Series/1 Computer, circa 1970s, the U.S. Government Accountability Office recently reported.

“Legacy IT investments across the federal government are becoming increasingly obsolete,” wrote the GAO in its report released in May. “Specifically, many use outdated languages and old parts.”