The MGT Act became the law of the land on Dec. 21, when President Trump signed it into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the much-vaunted revolving capital fund–cut out of the original FITARA bill in committee–that establishes a central bucket of money at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), managed by the General Services Administration (GSA), for Feds to modernize legacy IT systems. […]

What does everybody in Federal IT want for Christmas?  Yes, you guessed it, a new Federal CIO.  Santa’s elves have been chattering, and we understand that Suzette Kent will soon be named to the top job in Federal IT. With the passage of the MGT Act and FITARA grades slip sliding, folks have been calling for a new executive to get to grips with the change agenda.    






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In a report released on Dec. 7, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that while Veterans Affairs (VA) has made some progress on key IT initiatives under Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) requirements, it has nonetheless fallen short of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) targets regarding consolidating and optimizing its data centers.






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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke frankly about the need IT modernization in the State Department last week, both referencing his personal experiences with the department’s servers and tying it into a larger need for reorganization in the department, but failing to lay out any concrete plan for the changes.






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With $5 billion in global revenue, Symantec is the 500 pound yellow gorilla in the cybersecurity business. Some dimensions on the beast: installed at every Federal cabinet-level agency; supports 350,000 customers; tracks 700,000 hackers; and leverages more than nine trillion elements of security data. Now, that’s a big monkey.






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Success and Failure

As Federal CIOs brace for tomorrow’s Oversight and Government Reform IT Subcommittee FITARA hearing, it’s not great news on the fifth FITARA report card. 






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Federal agencies are refocusing their IT efforts in order to look at problems from an enterprise perspective rather than by individual bureau. “When you’re looking at the bureau you have money kind of stuck and stovepiped in that level,” said Melonie Parker-Hill, division chief of the enterprise operations center at the State Department.






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A bipartisan group of senators proposed legislation to extend certain provisions in the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act. The extension would add two years to agencies’ data center consolidation efforts. The bill is the same as the FITARA Extension amendment that was adopted by the House of Representatives in July.






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