Right Royal Wedding–IT EO ♥ FITARA ♥ MGT?

(Image: CNN)

Out with the old, in with the new–that was the message from Windsor this weekend as the Meghan-Harry union shattered outdated norms.

As we head into this week in Federal IT, we have some star coupling and legacy shattering of our own going on Inside the Beltway. Federal IT’s high priests will gather on the Hill to walk the sixth FITARA scorecard down the aisle at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday the 23rd. We understand the new FITARA scorecard will include CIO MGT grades for the first time.

This right on the heels of last week’s release of the White House’s new IT Executive Order . The IT EO noted that existing legislation, including FITARA and Clinger Cohen, have proven roundly ineffective in fixing what ails Federal IT.

So, everybody wants to know what happens when the new White House IT EO, FITARA, and MGT jump the broom together?

You see, the administration’s new IT EO maps directly to yesterday’s flame–FITARA. And, FITARA’s center stage this week. Clearly, both FITARA and the IT EO are both bedfellows with the MGT legislation–for those with history, you’ll remember that the key provision of MGT, the revolving capital fund, went through a quickie divorce from FITARA right before it became law in 2014. It bears repeating, the IT EO points out the shortfall of existing IT legislation–including Clinger-Cohen and FITARA. The new EO underlines both the challenges Federal CIOs face–and their pivotal role in righting what’s wrong with Federal IT. However, it fails to say how the White House will change the failing status quo.

At the center of all this swirling IT romance, we find Federal agency CIOs; the new Federal CIO, Suzette Kent; the Oversight and Government Reform IT Subcommittee–and of course the officiating high priest for IT–Dave Powner at the Government Accountability Office (GAO). What does the new IT EO mean for the once bright and shiny, but now outdated Federal IT dashboard? Surely the new President’s Management Agenda and the new EO must breathe new life and rigor into this central transparency platform.

For those that have been married to Federal IT for a while, we know there are the laws and mandates–but we also know these don’t always drive action or real change. The question on everybody’s lips–and this is a big one for next week’s hearing–how will the Hill, OMB, and the White House incent Federal agencies to modernize and break with the past. This is not just about holding CIOs accountable–it’s about engaging agency leadership to prioritize IT modernization within the myriad other priorities.

If you didn’t get an invitation to Windsor Castle–don’t feel snubbed. Here’s your chance to get a great seat at Federal IT’s royal coupling on Wednesday on the Hill. And, after that, you can perch on a pew at the FITARA Awards on July 17th. Congressman Gerry Connolly, D-Va., GAO, and the CIO Council are working with MeriTalk to recognize CIOs and CFOs that make the grade in FITARA. Like the rules on royal weddings, the FITARA scorecard’s moving with the times. Everybody’s hoping for happy ever after–and that means new thinking and new blood in Federal IT.  Don’t forget to wear a hat to the hearing.

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