Data Center Optimization issue throws wrench in otherwise stable FITARA 8.0 scorecard

While no agency scored an A for overall IT management, there were, for the second time running, no failing grades either.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee released its eighth Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act scorecard Wednesday, and results show minimal movement in either a positive or a negative direction.

The vast majority of the 24 CFO Act agencies included in the scoring stayed stagnant at a C grade, while a handful got Bs and fewer received Ds. While no agency scored an A for overall IT management, there were, for the second time running, no failing grades either.

Citing an exact number in each grade category is a little difficult though, because of issues the Government Operations Subcommittee and the Government Accountability Office faced in evaluating agency progress on data center optimization and consolidation.

When the White House Office of Management and Budget issued draft guidance on the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) in November, it also removed some data from that Congress and GAO use to come up with a DCOI score for each agency. As such, the committee decided to give two overall scores to each agency this go-around — one where DCOI is left out of the equation and another where the agency’s DCOI score from December 2018 is used in the tally. For four agencies — the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Social Security Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency — the two scores are different, and both are noted in the document.


Incidentally, OMB released the final version of its DCOI policy on Tuesday.

Despite this issue, not much has changed since scorecard 7.0. Software license management scores remain strong, but 10 agencies still don’t have their CIO reporting directly to the agency head or deputy.

In addition to data center optimization and software license management, the FITARA scorecard assesses agencies’ bonafides in risk management, incremental software development and CIO authorities. Over the years it has been expanded to include other major IT laws like the Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies (MEGABYTE) Act, the Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT) and the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA).

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing on the new scorecard Wednesday afternoon, featuring testimony from federal CIO Suzette Kent as well as Department of Agriculture CIO Gary Washington, Department of Education CIO Jason Gray and Department of the Treasury CIO Eric Olson.

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