- Almost a year after Congress passed the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), a new evaluation from a House subcommittee gave most agencies they reviewed a “D.”
- The report card looked at areas such as data center consolidation, incremental development and risk assessment.
- FITARA has been called “the most significant overhaul of the government's technology operations in nearly two decades.”
Only two agencies, the Department of Commerce and the General Services Administration, received a "B," the highest mark awarded.
"There's a reason that no agency received an 'A' -- we have work to do," said Rep. William Hurd, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Information Technology, at a hearing examining agencies' progress on implementing FITARA. "It's not a secret that the IT acquisition and procurement process in the federal government is broken."
In particular, agencies have faced challenges consolidating their data centers, a program the Obama administration introduced to “lessen the government's environmental impact, streamline operations by moving to a shared model and lower the costs of maintaining data centers around the country.”
"This is the big dollars savings area," says David Powner, the GAO's director of IT management issues.
The scorecard also highlighted the differences between what CIOs have self-reported and reality when it comes to the status of big federal IT projects. For example, in recent self-evaluations, government CIOs identified just 160 major IT projects that were at risk. But Powner said that contradicts other data.
"These totals are nowhere near reality given the troubled IT acquisitions of the old, antiquated legacy systems the government has," Powner said. "CIOs need to be more transparent and accurate in this area, and our ongoing work will show that many of these CIO ratings are not acknowledging risk appropriately."