The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, which passed in the House May 22 as part of the fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4435), received a subtle endorsement from Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel on June 19.
Conformance with the newly-enacted Digital Accountability and Transparency Act will require heavy lifting on the part of government, said Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel. "As far as systems today and how we can get there, they don't necessarily map in the way that the act described," said VanRoekel.
Agency-led TechStat accountability sessions, with oversight from the Office of Management and Budget, have proven to route troubled federal IT programs back on track and avoid costs. But the administration has shifted emphasis away from TechStat in favor of more nimble, innovative programs.
Reported federal information technology savings figures may sound impressive, but even the goals set out by the Office of Management and Budget are small, said David Powner, the Government Accountability Office's director of IT issues, during a recent Senate hearing.
Anyone anticipating a formal follow-up to the Digital Government Strategy should stop doing so, senior federal information technology officials told a March 7 conference audience.
Two Office of Management and Budget officials spoke March 4 about the Obama administration's management agenda in the coming fiscal year as detailed in the fiscal 2015 budget proposal.
The federal information technology spending proposal for the coming fiscal year totals $79.1 billion, Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel said Tuesday during a call with reporters. It includes $35.4 billion for the Defense Department and $43.7 billion for civilian agencies. As always with OMB calculations about federal IT spending, that figure doesn't account for classified spending.
When the Federal CIO Council announced in April 2013 a catalog of shared services available to agencies in furtherance of the Office of Management and Budget's policy of "Shared First," FierceGovernmentIT grew curious about the contents of the catalog. FierceGovernmentIT filed almost immediately a Freedom of Information Act request for a list of all the services in the catalog. We wanted to see the building blocks of the transformation, but couldn't on our own, since OMB keeps the list behind a password protected website.
Under the omnibus spending act (H.R. 3547) that funds federal agencies through this fiscal year, the e-government fund administered by the General Services Administration at the behest of the Office of Management and Budget has $16 million in appropriations. The Office of Management and Budget itself will have $10 million for its Integrated, Efficient, and Effective Uses of Information Technology fund.
Lack of a consistent definition of what constitutes "information technology" spending across the federal government continues to hamper oversight efforts, finds the Government Accountability Office. For example, in the most recent budget cycle, Energy officials decided that supercomputer projects no longer constitute an IT project, the GAO says, despite adding up to $368 million and accounting for nearly a quarter of departmental IT spending in fiscal 2012.