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Congress to Review FITARA Scorecards Next Week

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee member Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas // Cliff Owen/AP

Correction: An earlier version of this article provided the wrong date for the hearing. The hearing is slated for Nov. 4.

Several agency chief information officers are expected to testify next week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to discuss how their agencies are implementing sweeping federal IT reform legislation passed by Congress last year.

The hearing, on implementation of the 2014 Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, is tentatively slated for Nov. 4 before the IT subcommittee.

The chairman of the subcommittee, Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, previewed the hearing during remarks last month at the Nextgov Prime event. The hearing will mark the release of a FITARA scorecard that effectively grades federal agencies on their implementation so far, Hurd said.

“We're coming up with a FITARA scorecard to make sure that Congress uses its oversight role to ensure that these agencies are implementing FITARA the way they're supposed to,” Hurd told reporters after his remarks. “We are going to bring every agency in front of the subcommittee and ask the same questions. And guess what? This is going to be boring. It will not be must-watch TV. But these are the kinds of things we need to do to make sure the government is spending the taxpayers’ money wisely and also being efficient because the gains that we get from increasing efficiency is huge.”

The hearing is likely to include a representative from the Government Accountability Office, which is compiling the score cards, as well as U.S. CIO Tony Scott and several agency CIOs. An oversight committee spokesperson told Nextgov the official witness list has not been confirmed and noted the hearing is subject to change.

The FITARA scorecard and subsequent discussion will go a long way toward showcasing how far agencies have come since FITARA became law almost a year ago. The Office of Management and Budget and GAO have played significant roles offering guidance and insight, but ultimately each agency is responsible for implementation on its own.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the legislation is the expanded authorities CIOs now wield to own IT budgets. Expect that to be one of the main talking points next week.

Separately, OMB is planning to release a public dashboard tracking agencies’ progress implementing key parts FITARA.

Agencies over the summer submitted initial plans to OMB detailing concrete steps they’ve taken for boosting the authority of CIOs.

"By and large, most agencies met our expectations,” Scott said last week at a federal IT acquisition event hosted by FCW. “Overall, I was very pleased with the plans submitted. None were perfect, I will say.”

Jack Moore contributed to this report.

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