GAO government accountability office

A new report published today by the Government Accountability Office is calling attention to persistent agency difficulties in complying with the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), as well as difficulties with finding skilled acquisition professionals across the Federal government. […]

US Federal CIO Suzette Kent OMB MeriTalk CCXB

Federal CIO Suzette Kent said today that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to update metrics for Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA) reporting, and said that agencies are seeing progress in those metrics, which are being tracked in a newly added category in the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) scorecard.






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Carol Harris, director for information technology acquisition management issues at the Government Accountability Office (GAO), will take over the FITARA-related responsibilities of Dave Powner–GAO’s departing director of IT issues–while Nick Marinos, director of cybersecurity and information management at GAO, will pick up Powner’s responsibilities on Census issues, GAO confirmed to MeriTalk.  






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MeriTalk today announced the winners of its inaugural FITARA Awards program, recognizing six Federal agencies who have made tremendous strides in modernizing their IT environments and one congressional leader who has worked tirelessly to promote the reform of IT acquisitions and adoption of cyber best practices.






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FITARA Awards

Since it became law in 2014, FITARA’s dished out tough love for Federal CIOs–and the 6.0 report card wasn’t one you’d want to take home to your CIO parents. So MeriTalk is working with the FITARA Awards chairman, Congressman Gerry Connolly, D-Va., the author of the FITARA legislation, to recognize the agencies that topped the class on FITARA and provide a venue for discussing the merits and challenges with the grading process.






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Legislative direction moving Federal agencies toward incremental development in their software initiatives is beginning to take hold, and Agile development methodologies have been a key driver of that success, according to an agency CIO, a leader in government IT modernization, and an industry executive assisting agencies in Agile adoption.






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DHS Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation (CDM) is pivotal to improving government cybersecurity. While it’s critical, it has a lot of moving parts–and that can make it difficult to follow. MeriTalk sat down with Kevin Cox to get a handle on the state of CDM, as well as an understanding of where the program goes from here. And, it’s quite a story–so I hope you’re sitting comfortably, feel free to grab a cup of coffee.






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Tony Scott was the Federal government’s third chief information officer, serving the nation in that role from 2015 through early 2017. During his time at the helm of government-wide IT, Scott led the development of 2016’s State of Federal IT Report, which left a lasting roadmap for modernization progress in the Federal government.






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The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that the agency needs to improve compliance three key pieces of Federal IT Legislation, according to OIG’s semiannual report, released May 25 and covering October 2017 through March 2018.






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The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), passed by Congress in December 2014, represented the first major legislative overhaul of Federal IT in nearly 20 years. Beginning in November 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released two scorecards a year grading agencies’ performance under the law. Suffice to say, agencies haven’t always been making the GAO’s Honor Roll, with plenty of Cs and Ds to go around. However, many agencies have made significant improvements over the last 3 years.






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The House Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) IT subcommittee followed up last week’s release of the sixth FITARA Scorecard (Scorecard 6.0) by releasing a second, more detailed scorecard. It provides insight into each of the categories of FITARA scoring, with methodology, metrics, calculations, and detailed data points on just how well each of the 24 agencies fared. 






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IT modernization in the Federal government will require collaboration, effective policies, and a focus on the true end-goal: improving the government experience for citizens, said agency CIOs and industry leaders at a May 23 FedInsider webinar on IT modernization.






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