FEDweek IT

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act has been signed into law as part of the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill (HR-4435) and will begin requiring agencies to review all of their IT investments at least once a year with a focus on eliminating duplication and waste.

Past budget submissions have shown a high degree of overlap particularly with human resources and financial management systems, where agencies will be under stepped up pressure to take action to become more efficient.

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The law requires OMB to develop a plan to carry out a government-wide inventory of software IT assets and submit those results to relevant congressional committees – likely to include the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which have increasingly begun to focus on cybersecurity and government efficiency and will now have a new framework to wield.

Agency web properties are in the cross hairs as well, with the law requiring OMB to begin requiring agencies to consolidate or eliminate duplicative or overlapping websites, and it further authorizes CIOs to establish working capital funds for cloud solutions which could help drive IT consolidation more broadly with hosted solutions and other cloud services.

Civilian CIOs are to gain more authority over budget, governance and personnel processes for IT investments, with one central CIO in each agency being responsible for the approval and appointment of any other component-level CIOs within the agency, according to the bill, though it remains to be seen whether this makes agencies more agile in responding to the law’s intent.