Most federal agencies earn barely-passing grades from lawmakers when it comes to implementing the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's IT subcommittee released scorecards Wednesday documenting federal agencies’ progress implementing FITARA, the 2014 law that boosted the authority of agency chief information officers in a bid to reform federal IT management.
The scorecards were released prior to an IT subcommittee hearing promised by chairman Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas. The scorecards assess agencies based on four criteria: data center consolidation, IT portfolio review savings, incremental development and risk assessment transparency.
No agency received an "A" grade, although several received Ds and Fs. The highest grades went to the Commerce Department and the General Services Administration, which received Bs. The Education and Energy departments received Fs, as did NASA.
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“Federal agencies must act now. FITARA provides a set of tools and guidelines, that when implemented properly, allows agencies to better manage and secure IT systems and acquisitions,” Hurd and a bevy of lawmakers said in a joint statement released by the committee accompanying the scorecards. “Legislation is only as good as its implementation. Congress will continue to oversee this process until quality IT systems are in place.”
Other lawmakers signing on to the statement included Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah; Robin Kelly, D-Ill.; Mark Meadows, R-N.C.; and Gerry Connolly, D-Va.
The hearing will feature testimony from federal Chief Information Officer Tony Scott, Dave Powner, director of IT management issues at the Government Accountability Office, as well as CIOs from GSA, and the Treasury and Transportation departments.
Congress approved FITARA last year in an effort to improve IT acquisition across the government, in part by empowering CIOs with budgetary authority of IT decisions. The legislation was also designed to improve transparency in IT spending.
Separately, OMB plans to release a publish dashboard that will track agencies’ progress implementing key parts of FITARA. The dashboards will be composed of initial FITARA implementation plans submitted by agencies over the summer.