Subcommittee’s Bipartisan Oversight Continues to Hold Agencies Accountable
Washington, D.C. (Dec. 22, 2020)—Today, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, joined Ranking Member Jody Hice in releasing the Subcommittee’s 11th biannual scorecard, assessing implementation of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). FITARA 11.0 marks the first time in the Scorecard’s history that all 24 agencies included in the law have received A’s in a single category, and the first time that a category will be retired.
“In the midst of a global pandemic, continued reliance on remote work, and an unprecedented and highly sophisticated cyber-attack by a foreign adversary—the importance of federal agencies’ effective use of IT is too great to ignore,” said Subcommittee Chairman Connolly. “This Subcommittee will not waiver in its continued dedication to the improvement of federal IT acquisition and management. FITARA remains an effective tool at catalyzing IT advancement across the enterprise of the federal government. Let’s ensure we use it to continue to raise the bar.”
“Agencies’ information technology systems need to meet modern day challenges, steward taxpayer dollars, and ensure the success of their critical mission,” said Ranking Member Hice. “I’ve always been focused on making sure FITARA improves the rate at which Federal IT projects are delivered on time and on budget. I look forward to working with Chairman Connolly to also capture how well these projects improve the taxpayer’s experience when engaging with agencies. In light of the recent cyberattack against several U.S. departments and agencies, it’s also imperative to reflect on their state of cyber readiness.”
Since FITARA’s December 2014 enactment, federal agencies have developed and significantly improved their information technology postures. As a result of continued oversight using the FITARA Scorecard, all 24 agencies are now using comprehensive, regularly updated inventories of their software licenses — allowing these agencies to identify the licenses they have and reduce duplicative software costs. When the Subcommittee added this metric to the Scorecard in June 2017, only two agencies had such inventories.
FITARA 11.0 also marks the addition of a new metric, which evaluates agencies’ efforts to transition off of the General Services Administration’s expiring telecommunications contracts. The new measure, which was previewed in the August 2020 Scorecard, helps ensure that agencies will move toward telecom services that help deliver critical services at lower costs to taxpayers.
Since the August 2020 FITARA 10.0 Scorecard, three agencies’ grades increased, five decreased, and 16 remained unchanged. Further, despite the removal of the software licensing metric, all 24 agencies maintained “passing grades” for the second time in eleven scorecards. FITARA, however, is more than a letter grade – it can mean the difference between an agency prepared to protect itself and its data from sophisticated cyber threats and those that are not.
Click here to see the FITARA Scorecard 11.0.