FITARA Has a Bounce Back Semester

The last time we wrote about FITARA, the news was pretty grim. The 6th check-in since the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) was enacted in December 2014 found that many agencies were backsliding regarding their ability to show progress against FITARA goals of Data Center Consolidation, IT Portfolio Review Savings, Incremental Development, and Risk Assessment Transparency. This was a bit surprising given that the introduction of the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act was expected to help improve FITARA scores. While compliance with MGT is still slow, some other areas picked up momentum helping propel the FITARA scores upward.

The seventh version of the FITARA scorecard showed progress at many agencies over the six months between reports. No agencies saw their grades drop. Additionally, for the first time, there were no Fs on the report. Now, getting excited about no Fs may be setting the bar a bit low, but the DoD, due in part to sheer size and complexity, has struggled with the scorecard, and this cycle earned a D+. Other agencies making notable progress were the VA moving from a C+ to a B+, HHS from C- to B+, and Small Business Administration moving from a D+ to a B+.

This collective success is due in large part to improvements in software licensing. According to the report "16 agencies have implemented a comprehensive, regularly-updated inventory of software licenses; and also used their inventory to make cost-effective decisions." This progress is critical because more effective use of owned software including fully utilizing licensees and sharing among organizations can save millions of dollars government-wide.

To keep the scores on this upward trajectory, agencies must redouble efforts to meet MGT Act goals. There are a number of events that can serve as a study guide leading to the next report card.

  • RSA Federal Summit (January 24, 2019; Washington, DC) - This one-day event will discuss the ecosystem of IT Modernization within the Federal Government, including the Congressional Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act, the GSA Centers of Excellence, IT Category Management, and the Report to the President on IT Modernization for protecting high-value assets, encouraging cloud migration and emphasizing shared services.
  • AFA Breakfast Series: Capitol Hill Edition (January 30, 2019; Washington, DC) -- This Air Force Association series looks at recapitalization and modernization issues facing the Air Force as well as the best way forward to meet the demands and threats facing America and to enhance U.S. national security and the security of our allies.
  • IT Modernization Summit (February 20, 2019; Washington, DC) -- Federal officials and top IT experts gather to discuss the latest business cases for modernizing federal systems, the ongoing policy discussions around adopting emerging technologies and how replacing legacy IT can help prevent the next major breach.
  • Federal IT Gov Summit (May 13-14, 2019; Washington. DC) - Referred to as FIT Gov Summit, this event is an education-focused event that aims to give attendees hands-on training and actionable takeaways. A track is dedicated to FITARA implementation. Speakers from the government will share their successes and failures in this collaborative environment.

Let us know where you're going to help advance modernization goals.

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