Agency Grades Get Worse in Latest FITARA Scorecard

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Eleven agencies dropped and five agencies improved in Congress’ latest FITARA scorecard.

Agency grades dropped for the third consecutive time in Congress’ sixth FITARA scorecard, released Monday ahead of a scheduled hearing Wednesday by two House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittees.

No agencies received an ‘A’ grade in the scorecard, which measures how well agencies adhere to the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act’s mandate to have chief information officers report to agency leadership and compliance with transparency initiatives and data center optimization goals. The top-scoring agencies in the scorecard include the Education Department, General Services Administration and National Science Foundation, which all earned ‘B+’ grades.

Eight agencies—the Agriculture, Homeland Security, Justice, State and Treasury departments, as well as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Small Business Administration and Office of Personnel Management—earned ‘D’ grades. The Defense Department remains the lowest-scoring agency, as it has been in the past three biannual scorecards, with an ‘F’ grade.

In total, five agencies improved their scores while 11 declined.

The declining grades appear to be spurred by agencies’ lack of progress adhering to software licensing requirements under the MEGABYTE Act. Fourteen agencies scored an ‘F’ under the MEGABYTE Act metric, indicating they do not have software libraries. Agencies earned mostly positive scores in a new FITARA scorecard metric that measures how well they are modernizing government technology.

Agencies scored poorly on a second new scorecard metric—measuring cybersecurity hygiene under the Federal Information Security Management Act—although that metric was excluded from grading this time around.

The scorecard shows some improvements, however. Across government, 20 agencies now have permanent chief information officers, up from 18 in November. Four agencies—the Veterans Affairs, State, Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development departments—have acting CIOs. In addition, 15 CIOs now report to agency leadership, up from 12 last year.

The scorecard follows an executive order from President Trump announced earlier this month that further strengthens CIO authority. The order specifically enhances CIO authority over hiring, budgets and setting the IT agenda for entire agency enterprises.