SIIA today welcomed the advancement of federal IT acquisition reform. Earlier today, the House of Representatives passed an amendment (Amendment #166) authored by Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee adding the language of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) to the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act. With this action the proposed reform has taken another step forward, but SIIA continues to have concerns with a number of provisions in the bill.
Federal IT acquisition reform is long overdue, and we appreciate the work of Chairman Issa, Rep. Connolly and their respective staffs to recognize the critical need for reform move it forward. FITARA puts in place needed changes in IT acquisition, including increasing the authority of federal CIOs, promoting data center optimization, and recognizing the importance of a highly trained IT acquisition workforce.
SIIA has worked closely with Chairman Issa and other members of the Committee to revise the legislation since its March mark-up, while the Committee has moved forward with many of the changes, including those that preserve the important role of Value Added Resellers (VAR) in the federal market, the organization remains concerned about the net effect of the changes to the language around the use of open source software and the language that would alter the application of FISMA by, in essence, codifying the FedRAMP program.
While SIIA is pleased to see FITARA move forward and remains supportive of its overall objectives, we still have concerns with a number of specific provisions. We have expressed our concerns to the committee and look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Issa and interested members in the U.S. Senate to resolve these lingering issues, and ensure that the bill has the intended positive impact on the federal IT marketplace.
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.