GSA Official Downplays MS Charges on Google Gov. Apps

U.S. General Services Administration Associate Administrator David McClure told a Senate subcommittee Tuesday that his office hadn't pulled FISMA accreditation from Google's touted Apps for Government applications, but was in the process of recertifying a more advanced version of the software.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., asked McClure to respond to a company blog post from Microsoft Corporate Vice President David Howard Monday charging that recently unsealed U.S. Department of Justice documents reveal that the Google Apps for Government application had not been certified under the Federal Information Security Management Act.

The DOJ documents are from a federal court case in which Google has charged that Microsoft was unfairly awarded a contract to move the U.S. Department of the Interior email systems to the cloud. FISMA certification would allow the Google apps, which were a part of its pitch for the DOI contract, to be used by a greater number of federal employees.

McClure told Carper his office had granted FISMA certification to a forerunner of Google Apps for Government, known as Google Apps Premiere, in July, 2010. He described Google Apps for Government as an updated subset of Google Apps Premiere.

"What you normally do when a project changes is you have to recertify it, so we're going through that now," McClure said.

McClure was testifying at an unrelated hearing of the Senate Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on federal financial management, focused on President Obama's 25-point plan to reform government information technology acquisition and management.