OMB Issues Draft Guidance to Implement the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act

U.S. CIO Tony Scott: OMB’s draft FITARA guidance aims to advance IT reform

The much-anticipated guidance to reform how agencies buy and manage information technology is littered with words such as “shall,” “must” and “all” to underscore the importance and expectations of not just federal chief information officers, but everyone across the CXO landscape.

But the one underlying message from the Office of Management and Budget in the 31-page draft guidance to implement the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) is the mistakes made 20 years ago will not be repeated.

OMB released the draft guidance Thursday for public comments. The comment period will remain open until May 30, but OMB says it really wants substantive remarks in the first two weeks of May so it can refine the document as it goes along.

“There is some element to learn from what went on before, no doubt about that,” federal CIO Tony Scott said in an exclusive interview with Federal News Radio. “But from my perspective, it’s all about how do we land this the right way, and on the one hand implement the law and the law is very clear in its intent, but it’s also how that lands and how a small agency, a big agency or a complex agency can make it work most effectively. That’s really where the dialogue has been over the last several months, and what we hope to bolster with this public comment period.”

There is widespread recognition throughout the draft and during the development of this new policy that Congress and the Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations didn’t do enough to ensure the spirit and intent of the Clinger-Cohen Act was integrated in the fabric of every agency.

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Source: Federal News Radio, Article written by Jason Miller, April 30, 2015


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