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Attention CIOs, Stay on Top of FITARA Even During Presidential Transition

Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan

Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan // Susan Walsh/AP

The Office of Management and Budget is telling agencies to stay on top of reporting deadlines under the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act as part of their planning for the transition to the next administration.

Agencies were also told to keep following cybersecurity reporting requirements.

The directions came in an April 29 memo from OMB Director Shaun Donovan in which the White House informed agencies they wouldn’t have to complete the formal budget review process for fiscal 2018 as a new administration will be in place. Instead, agencies were directed to put together a “current services baseline,” which details the amount of funding needed to keep existing programs running absent any policy changes.

In addition, agencies “should adhere to on-going IT- and cybersecurity-related reporting requirements,” Donovan wrote in the memo, noting the administration’s focus this year on implementing FITARA.

Donovan’s memo also said OMB plans to issue new IT budget planning guidance that would “focus on empowering agency CIOs.”

Last spring, the Obama administration issue initial guidance to agencies for implementing the 2014 legislation that aims to give more agency CIOs authority over their agencies’ IT spending and acquisition decisions. The law mandates CIOs sign off on their respective agencies’ IT budget requests and approve all major IT contracts.

The administration’s guidance called on agencies to craft detailed plans for boosting the responsibilities of their CIOs. As of March, all but two of the 24 largest federal agencies had submitted their plans.

However, OMB has fallen behind when it comes to deploying a public dashboard for tracking agencies’ progress implementing the law.

OMB was supposed to launch the dashboard in February, according to a recent Performance.gov progress update.

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