FEDweek

Agencies Struggling to Meet FITARA Requirement, Says GAO

GAO has found that only four of 24 agencies it reviewed have met the incremental software development standards under the 2016 Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act.

Those standards cover descriptions of the role of the CIO in the process; how the CIO’s certification will be documented; and definitions of incremental development and timeframes for delivering functionality consistent with OMB guidance. Of the departments and major agencies reviewed, only Commerce, Energy, DHS and Transportation met those standards. Of the rest, nine—including DoD, the largest—do not have a policy and 11 have policies that do not clearly detail the certification process.

GAO said agencies cited challenges including “inefficient governance processes, procurement delays and organizational changes associated with transitioning from a traditional software methodology that takes years to deliver a product, to incremental development, which delivers products in shorter time frames.”

“Nevertheless, agencies reported that the certification process was beneficial because they used the information from the process to assist with identifying investments that could more effectively use an incremental approach, and using lessons learned to improve the agencies’ incremental processes,” it said.