Changes in FITARA 11.0: How You Can Help Agencies Improve Their Scorecards

This past December, GAO made changes to the FITARA scorecard. By tracking these changes, you can help your agency customers improve their FITARA grades and meet mission goals. (Click here to review the latest scorecard.)

The next agency self-reporting period comes in April, with scorecards due in May. Agencies are being pushed to better use IT to meet FITARA objectives, such as cybersecurity and modernizing government technology.

So what does that mean for FITARA compliance? From a flyover perspective, first, the new administration is likely to look more closely at transformation in its policy priorities. Next, the FITARA scorecards will retire categories that have had across-the-board success, and shift focus to the next area that needs improvement.

Here are some of the expected shifts.

Software Licensing /Emphasis on Transition to EIS

GAO’s House Government Operations Subcommittee has sunset the Software Licensing/MEGABYTE category. All 24 agencies have received an “A” grade in that category.

This past August saw the addition of the “Transition off Networx” category. This grades agencies on their transition from the Networx telecommunications contract to the Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract. The Networx transition remains a challenge: Five agencies received failing grades in that category. Look for Congress to monitor that activity more closely.

Cybersecurity Stays Relevant

Cybersecurity is one category that won’t be sunsetting anytime soon. With the past attack on SolarWinds and continued threats from bad actors, cybersecurity is being scrutinized by Congress, so FITARA compliance will be critical.

Jody Hice, on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and House Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations were jointly responsible for the 11th release of the FITARA scorecard. In December, Hice noted that “In light of the recent cyberattack against several U.S. departments and agencies, it’s also imperative to reflect on their state of cyber readiness.” So not only does this category stay on the scorecard, it’s arguably more important than ever.

Effective Use of IT

Even though all 24 agencies have passing grades, Subcommittee Chairman Connolly has stressed that agencies remain accountable for improving their scorecard. “FITARA remains an effective tool at catalyzing IT advancement across the enterprise of the federal government,” Connolly noted. “Let’s ensure we use it to continue to raise the bar.”

How can industry support its agency customers in raising the bar? In short, by helping make effective use of IT.

That not only means finding ways that technology can boost an agency’s FITARA grade. It also means using IT to secure and protect mission-critical information and systems.

The Subcommittee on Government Operations hasn’t yet held a public hearing on FITARA 11.0. The focus of the next hearing will be shaped by new policies that may be introduced by changing federal government leadership. No matter what happens, the priorities here are the best roadmap we have for improved FITARA compliance.

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If you are interested in FITARA, you might also be interested in reading my blog, 5 Years Later and FITARA Remains Relevant.

The information in this blog originally appeared in Washington Technology magazine. The complete article can be found here.

About Tara Franzonello
Tara Franzonello is responsible for management, compliance and negotiations of immixgroup’s GSA Schedule contract as well as management of GSA programs and initiatives. Tara brings twenty years of experience in contract administration and program management in the public sector marketplace and has successfully negotiated GSA schedule contracts as well as state and local contract vehicles. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from Providence College.

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