Insight | October 23, 2016

FITARA at a Crossroads: Ten Recommendations to Improve FITARA Implementation

By Kareem El-Alaily

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FITARA is at a crossroads. How can Congress, GAO, and OMB ensure FITARA’s success into the next Administration? Download our white paper on next steps for FITARA optimization.

Twenty years following the signing of the seminal Clinger-Cohen Act, which laid the foundation for the federal government’s acquisition and management of IT, and 14 years after the E-Government Act established a Federal Chief Information Officer, program failure rates and cost overruns still plague 72-80% of large government IT programs. Some estimate the cost to the taxpayer to be several billions of dollars.

The Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) squarely addresses this disappointing record. The purpose of FITARA is to increase the value to the taxpayer by adapting the cumbersome federal acquisition process to align with major trends occurring in the IT industry.

However, 18 months after the enactment of FITARA, implementation of this key legislation has reached a crossroads. The primary basis to monitor and evaluate progress towards FITARA’s goals, the Congressional FITARA Scorecard, has begun to diverge from the specific goals and milestones that OMB has sought to implement across the agencies. This divergence is troublesome and threatens the ability to make progress in implementing these much-needed reforms.

In this white paper, we address the root causes of the dissonance surrounding FITARA and provide ten improvement recommendations for Congress, GAO and OMB to consider to accelerate future implementation and enhance oversight.

Please visit our Strategic IT page to learn more.