Seven agencies improved their FITARA scorecard grades after the Government Accountability Office continued to update its scoring methodology around data center consolidation, cybersecurity and network modernization components.
The grades of the Commerce, Defense, Justice, Transportation, and Treasury departments, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency and NASA rose. All other agencies’ grades remained unchanged.
GAO began issuing grades biannually in November 2015 to monitor agencies’ progress implementing IT modernization and cybersecurity improvements required by the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). Evolving the scorecard has long been a priority of Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who aspired to House Oversight Committee chairmanship before Republicans rested control of the House in the November election.
“We must continue to reap dividends from modernizing legacy IT systems, migrating to the cloud and maintaining a strong cyber posture,” Connolly said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing the scorecard and the longstanding tradition of bipartisan FITARA oversight in the 118th Congress.”
The FITARA 15.0 scorecard further modifies the new data center consolidation component to give credit to agencies that justified future data center closures. Agencies responding with no future closures received A grades, and the five that justified their need for future closures received Bs.
GAO changed cyber component scoring to a weighted, rather than traditional, average. The predominant Federal Information Security Modernization Act maturity level among all 24 agencies scored was level four, managed and measurable security, which meant the General Services Administration and National Science Foundation scored more than 100% for their optimized postures and received A grades.
Lastly GAO changed its scoring of agencies’ transition from expiring telecommunications and network contracts to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions modernization vehicle. GSA expected agencies to be 90% transitioned by March and 100% transitioned by September, so July’s FITARA 14.0 scorecard graded their progress toward the 90% benchmark with 11 receiving Fs.
For FITARA 15.0, GAO cracked down by issuing pass-fail grades based on whether an agency reached the 90% benchmark with 19 receiving Fs. Only the U.S. Agency for International Development achieved 100% transitioned by GSA’s deadline while the Health and Human Services and Treasury departments and NASA and Nuclear Regulatory Commission passed for being more than 90% transitioned.