Web Log for Federal Financial Management -- Federal CFO, CPO, CIO, CAO, and CHCO news aggregated from open sources, such as: GAO, USHR, USS, Federal, State, & Local Agencies, IGs, and Watchdog organizations for public consumption.
Federal CIOs got an early Christmas gift from Congress in 2014: explicit authority to plan and approve their department’s information technology budgets.
Under the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), which Congress passed as an amendment to the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, CIOs are responsible for reviewing and approving department IT contracts. Department CIOs will also play a more direct role in the hiring of any bureau-level CIOs. The new law requires that department CIOs approve those appointments.
“I think this is going to be an interesting time in federal IT because, for the first time, we will see federal CIOs take ownership of the IT landscape in their agencies,” says General Services Administration (GSA) CIO and FedTech must-read IT blogger Sonny Hashmi.
FITARA applies to CIOs at civilian departments.
GSA was an early adopter of the consolidated IT approach, and Hashmi has experienced the benefits and challenges of having the agency’s IT under his authority.
He cautions against the bureaucracy that can bog down organizations with consolidated IT. They can become oversight driven, slow to respond and less innovative if they don’t strike the right balance, Hashmi says.
At GSA, Hashmi and his team are investing in transformative projects while reducing the amount of legacy systems. Most GSA systems are antiquated, and some are a quarter of a century old. While the systems run well, modernizing them would help reduce costs and make systems more flexible to meet emerging technology demands.
Federal Communications Commission CIO David Bray has similar challenges with legacy systems. Bray wants to find an easier way to port legacy systems to cloud-based providers.