Weekly News Kickoff: FITARA Scorecard Shows Agencies Making Little Progress - (Archived)

The grades are in, and they show federal agencies are not doing so well with IT reform. Only two agencies passed in all four of the evaluation categories — although a GAO official testified a few hours after the scorecard’s release that he didn’t completely agree with the findings. Nevertheless, this is likely to have an impact on IT acquisitions over the next few years. Can the government embrace innovative, agile technologies using old acquisition methods? Welcome to the weekly news kickoff. Enjoy these highlights.

Congratulations to the 2015 Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards™ Winners
The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and Professional Services Council (PSC) announced the winners of the 13th Annual Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards™, the premier awards program honoring the leadership, innovation and commitment to excellence of the individuals and businesses in the region’s government contracting sector. See the full list of winners.

Agencies Making Little Progress with FITARA, Scorecard Shows
Are agencies doing a good job implementing the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA)? The top 24 federal agencies got their first report cards, and for all but two of the grades were not good, Federal Times reports. The Government Accountability Office, at the direction of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, compiled the scorecards to measure agencies’ progress on IT reform, particularly in four of the seven areas FITARA covers. The only agencies to get a passing grade in each of the four categories were Commerce and GSA, which both received B ratings overall. View the scorecard.

GAO Doesn’t Fully Endorse FITARA Scorecard Conclusions
Shortly after the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a scorecard grading agencies on their implementation of FITARA, a GAO official said he did not fully concur with the conclusions the committee drew from agencies’ self-reported data, FierceGovernmentIT reports. David Powner, GAO director of IT management issues, said the scorecard failed to offer accurate agency-to-agency comparisons — particularly on data center consolidation. While the Treasury and Transportation departments received “F”s for missing goals, “we feel better about their Fs because they have high goals,” Powner said during a Nov. 4 hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittees on information technology and government operations.

OPM Appoints Cyber Adviser
The Office of Personnel Management, victim of the worst online data breach of any U.S. agency, has hired a cyber expert to advise the director on evolving cybersecurity and IT-related issues, FedScoop reports. Clifton Triplett will serve as OPM’s new senior cyber and information technology adviser, acting agency Director Beth Cobert announced Wednesday. The position was created as part of the agency’s June Cybersecurity Action Plan, released in the wake of an online infiltration beginning last year that compromised the personal information of more than 21 million federal employees, security clearance applicants and those close to them. The plan said the adviser would be in place by Aug. 1.

Does a Centralized Approach Help or Hurt DoD Cybersecurity?
The government puts much effort into establishing security policies and practices for its networks. Is this centralized approach, filled with bureaucratic hoops, helping or hindering its cybersecurity efforts? At the 2015 Open Architecture Summit Nov. 4 in Washington, a panel of experts discussed this topic, Defense Systems reports. Panelists agree that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work. Read this and other opinions in the full article.

CSC, Netcracker Fined for Using Uncleared Coders in Classified DISA Work
Two companies accused of using employees without security clearances to work on sensitive Defense Information Systems Agency software projects agreed to pay more than $12 million to resolve claims they violated the False Claims Act, FCW reports. Waltham, Mass.-based telecom software and services firm NetCracker Technology Corp. agreed to pay $11.4 million and Falls Church, Va.-based information technology firm Computer Sciences Corp. agreed to pay $1.35 million to settle the case, according to the Justice Department. NetCracker and CSC implemented software used to help manage the telecommunications network used by the Department of Defense, under a contract with DISA, in which CSC was the prime contractor and NetCracker was a CSC subcontractor.


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