Is momentum building for IT acquisition reform?
With the Senate poised to return to work next week on the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 and the President declaring that as a result of the Healthcare.gov deployment issues, IT acquisition reform needs to be a priority, there seems to be some momentum for Rep. Issa’s Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), but what’s the path forward? FITARA was included in the House-passed NDAA but there still seems to be some opposition in the Senate. Expect an amendment to add to the full text of FITARA, and one to add just the data center consolidation and/or CIO authority sections from the House passed bill. Which will be agreed to and which will be dismissed remains up in the air, as does the overall path forward for the NDAA as there are a number of issues that held it up before the Thanksgiving Holiday that have yet to be resolved. Here’s an earlier story from FedNewsRadio.
Congress looks for budget deal in advance of January 15th deadline:
With the January 15th deadline approaching and fear of another government shutdown on the minds of many in DC, Congress has been working to try and come up with a short term funding solution. On the table right now is whether or not Congress should fund operations for the rest of the fiscal year above the sequester level, with many believing that the cuts to some areas, including defense, are just too severe. No deal yet, but discussions between Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan are continuing. The latest news being that some conservatives in the House of Representatives are pushing for a clean continuing resolution at the current sequester levels. Politico has the latest here and here.
FedRAMP announces 27th accredited 3PAO:
The FedRAMP program announced this week that it had approved the 27th third party assessment organization or 3PAO. The newest 3PAO is Leidos Accredited Testing and Evaluation Labs (AT&E) and they are now available to work with cloud service providers who are ready to go through the FedRAMP process. To date, 12 CSPs have received authorization either through FedRAMP or via an agency to provide cloud services to the Federal government. See the full list of FedRAMP accredited 3PAOs and other information on the FedRAMP program here.
DOD issues new acquisition guidelines:
DOD Undersecretary of Defense Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Frank Kendall released a memo this week updating DOD’s acquisition guidance, last revised in 2008. The updated guidance seeks to streamline the Pentagon’s buying processes, while issuing more readable and user friendly standards. DOD underlying acquisition guidance remains intact. The revised guidance is viewed as interim and will be formalized over the next six months. FCW covers it here.
DOD to undergo major realignment:
The Department of Defense is also embarking on a major realignment, expecting to cut nearly 20 percent of its workforce by 2019, resulting in about $1 billion in savings. Under the plan, which includes significant realigning of personnel and resources, the Office of the CIO would be strengthened to be better able to deal with emerging information technology and cyber security challenges. FCW has a good report.
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.