IT Acquisition Reform Update:
Last week, I reported that there was expected to be some progress on IT acquisition reform when the Senate returned from its recess, with at least three pending amendments seeking to address the issue. This week, it looks like that has been put on hold as the Senate now looks to consider a “compromise” defense authorization bill that was negotiated between the House and Senate which they will try to move through the House this week and the Senate next week, without amendment. The base text, according to the House Armed Services Committee Summary does not include any language addressing IT acquisition reform. FITARA or parts of it could potentially move as stand-alone legislation next year, according to Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA). FCW has a story with the latest.
Ryan, Murray Reach Budget Framework Agreement:
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled a bipartisan budget agreement on Tuesday that would roll back $63 billion of the sequester cuts (split between defense and non-defense programs), reduce the deficit by approximately $23 billion and fund the government for the next two fiscal years at slightly over $1 trillion each year. The bill, if approved by the House and Senate, would eliminate the possibility of a government shutdown when the current continuing resolution expires in January and provides a level of funding certainty that hasn’t been seen in Washington for a number of years. The deal does not raise the debt ceiling, which Congress will have to address by early February. Politico has a report.
Interior Shifts CIO Responsibilities, Consolidates IT:
Three years ago, the Department of Interior, began the transformation of their CIO operations, including a structural change establishing a single Chief Information Officer for the entire Department, while retitling bureau level CIOs as Assistant Directors for Information Resources (ADIRs). Since that process began, Interior has consolidated 55 data centers, combined 14 email systems into one and moved a host of other applications and systems to the cloud.FedNewsRadio reports on the progress Interior has made.
White House Unveils New Open Government Framework:
On December 5th the White House released the second and latest U.S. Open Government National Action Plan. The new policy aims to build upon prior efforts to create a more open, efficient and effective government, leveraging technology to achieve this goal. Among the highlights of the latest policy is a plan to consolidate FOIA requests across government and making government spending data available in machine-readable formats, leveraging USAspending.gov. The FOIA plans are interesting in that they will only be consolidated at the front end, and the requests themselves will still be routed to the relevant agency for review and approval. FCW covers it here.
DOE to Move 6,000 More to Google Apps:
The Department of Energy announced last week that they plan to move 6,000 more employees to Google Apps for Government cloud email and collaboration. The move comes after 5,000 DOE employees at the Idaho National Lab moved to Google last year with the expectation of consolidation, efficiency and cost-reduction. Unisys has the contract for the transition, which includes integration of the department’s mobile users. GCN has more.
Michael Hettinger is VP for the Public Sector Innovation Group (PSIG) at SIIA. Follow his PSIG tweets at @SIIAPSIG. Sign up for the Public Sector Innovation Roundup email newsletter for weekly updates.