WASHINGTON – Today, the Senate approved the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), as part of the FY 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). FITARA will improve how the federal government acquires, implements and manages its information technology investments by giving agency Chief Information Officers (CIOs) more authority over the budget, governance, and personnel processes for agency IT investments, and by improving transparency and review processes of such investments. FITARA was co-sponsored by Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).
As the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has repeatedly pointed out in recent years, the federal government spends approximately $80 billion annually on IT, yet those investments continue to underperform, often incurring considerable cost overruns and delays.
“FITARA is the product of meaningful bipartisan, bicameral compromise that will help reduce waste in federal spending and increase agency accountability to American taxpayers,” said Chairman Carper. “This bill will address many of the operational difficulties facing information technology management today and save money without degrading our national IT capabilities. By empowering Chief Information Officers throughout the budget, planning and spending processes, this bill enhances transparency and oversight of agency IT investments. In addition, this important bill requires federal departments to take an enterprise-wide view of IT programs and investments, and continues the promising work that has been done to right-size agency data centers. I thank the leaders of the Armed Services Committee for including this language in the National Defense Authorization Act and appreciate the hard work of Congressmen Issa, Cummings, Connolly, and Dr. Coburn to make these important reforms into law.”