MeriTalk’s feature, a Q&A with prominent IT leaders, focuses this time on G. Nagesh Rao, the Chief Technologist with the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Investment and Innovation for the Small Business Technology Transfers (STTR)/ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs. […]

To drive down Federal spending and waste, the Office of Management and Budget has released its official Data Center Policy, designed to streamline the process of reducing the number of Federal data centers. By 2018, 52 percent of Federal data centers will close.






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The U.S. Health and Human Services Department has begun its search for a new Chief Information Officer, two months after HHS lost its previous CIO, Frank Baitman, who worked to establish HHS within the 2014 FITARA guidelines.






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The Situation Report has picked up strong signals from our Office of Management and Budget outpost that senior administration officials are “pissed off” at Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., for inserting language into the omnibus spending bill that passed in December. Alexander is responsible for inserting a paragraph into the omnibus spending package that granted the […] […]

As FITARA, the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, turns 1, the Federal IT community is gushing over its potential. But the terrible twos are ahead.






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On Nov. 4, I testified before the joint subcommittees on Information Technology and Government Operations of the House Committee of Oversight and Government Reform. The hearing was titled “FITARA’s Role in Reducing IT Acquisition Risk, Part II–Measuring Agencies.”  The other witnesses included Federal CIO Tony Scott, Treasury CIO Sonny Bhagowalia, General Services Administration CIO David […] […]

Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday outlined numerous shortcomings in efforts by Federal agencies to implement reforms in the bipartisan Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). The committee issued F and D letter grades to 17 agencies because of missed opportunities to cut costs and meet other benchmarks. The […] […]

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s hearing on the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) produced some good commentary from members of Congress and witnesses alike. Here are five comments from testimony and the subsequent discussion that provide perspective on the hearing. “I am so grateful to this committee for FITARA. I think […] […]

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., has a unique take on Federal IT. That’s because he’s one of just four members of Congress with a degree in computer science. The congressman likes to joke that he’s a “recovering computer scientist,” but his background gives him credibility when he discusses issues like two-factor authentication or IT innovation. That’s […] […]

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The cybersecurity sprint may have ended, but efforts to improve cybersecurity aren’t over, Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Tony Scott said at the August 11 FITARA Forum. “I wanted to assure you we’re not taking our eye off the ball on that,” Scott said. “I can tell you that I’m very pleased with the overall […] […]

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Federal Chief Information Officer Tony Scott urged agencies to make the most of their new authority under the Federal Information Technology Acquisition and Reform Act (FITARA). At the August 11 FITARA Forum, Scott said cutting spending on legacy systems represents a unique problem because agencies are spending more than previously believed to prop up old […] […]

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Two weeks after a spear phishing attack against the unclassified email system of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) Tony Scott suggested at the August 11 FITARA Forum that agencies provide a little cyber education to their work force. Scott credited Transportation Department CIO Richard McKinney with coming up with the idea. […] […]

Why can’t the government successfully complete complex IT projects? This question persists whether one is talking about Healthcare.gov or the recent data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management. The primary reason is the cumbersome way the government funds IT development. With agencies subsisting from one Continuing Resolution (CR) to the next, intermittent funding wreaks […] […]

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued final guidance June 10 detailing what agencies need to do to implement the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). The document is barely changed from the draft circulated in April. That’s one thing you need to know – here are six more: 1.    Implementing the common baseline […] […]

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