After all the negotiations were said and done in the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) ended up with zero dollars for fiscal year 2020 from the upper chamber of Congress. […]

House Majority leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., is reaffirming congressional Democrats’ opposition to Trump administration’s proposed merger of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) with the General Services Administration (GSA).






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Several high-ranking Federal agency tech leaders are set to testify before the House Government Operations Subcommittee on July 17 when it holds a hearing to consider the effectiveness of the FedRAMP (Federal Risk Assessment and Management Program) program that standardizes security requirements of cloud services used by the government.






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Federal spending budget

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and House Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., have submitted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (HR 2500) for FY2020 that would block the proposed merger of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the General Services Administration (GSA).






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The White House’s proposed FY2020 budget includes $87.70 billion for IT spending, an increase of close to $1 billion for civilian agencies, but a decrease of nearly $1.25 billion in unclassified defense IT spending, according to the Analytical Perspectives document released today by the Office of Management and Budget.






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While yesterday’s hearing held by two House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittees was a mostly upbeat affair given the better grades earned by several Federal agencies on the committee’s latest FITARA scorecard, committee members also grilled witnesses about impediments that stand in the way of agencies implementing a key aspect of the MGT (Modernizing Government Technology) Act.






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Federal agencies can earn better grades on their next FITARA (Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act) scorecard by taking action on three items that underpin the scoring–software inventories, CIO reporting lines, and setting up working capital funds for IT improvements as authorized by the MGT (Modernizing Government Technology) Act–members of Congress and an official with the Government Accountability Office said today.






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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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Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said Monday in a letter to Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., that DoJ reached a premature conclusion in stating that stolen personal information used in a credit fraud case in Virginia was acquired from the 2015 Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach.






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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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At Wednesday’s hearing on the FITARA (Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act) 6.0 Scorecard, both the agency designated as a guiding light in government-wide IT innovation and the agency singled out for its obfuscation and claimed exemptions on many of the reform act’s initiatives were met with stern questioning from a joint subcommittee hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee.






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Federal government officials and a member of Congress influential in government IT spending debates said late last month that billions of additional savings look to be ripe for the picking through elimination of duplicative services, and that Congress is working on ways to beef up the pursuit of those savings.






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When the first Federal IT Acquisitions Reform Act (FITARA) scorecards were dished out in November 2015, agencies and industry alike praised government’s glowing commitment to overhauling a moribund Federal IT landscape. Looking back over the scorecards, FITARA has clearly added new transparency and accountability–and the scorecard has evolved over time. But, the FITARA 5.0 reports in late 2017 showed agencies are regressing. With the passage of the MGT Act, now seems like a good time to further evolve the FITARA scorecard.






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Opening day for the Nationals might be a week away, but four Beltway insiders have already knocked one out of the park. The latest omnibus spending bill, which passed through the Senate early Friday morning, includes $100 million for the MGT Act’s centralized revolving capital fund. President Trump signed the MGT Act into law late last year as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.






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