As everyone packed up for the holiday last year, the outlook on the Hill was optimistic that the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act would find its way to the president’s desk in 2014.
Less than two months into the new year, FITARA has been reintroduced — with some changes.
Caitlin Carroll, spokeswoman for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, told FedScoop the bill’s main components — consolidating and expanding CIO authority and data centers closures — remain the same.
However, the newly reintroduced FITARA has two major modifications.
For one, the portion pertaining to expanded authority of agency chief information officer will include the Defense Department. In the original draft, the CIO-expanded authority applied to all agencies “other than the Department of Defense.”
Carroll said the newest FITARA version intends to include DOD in a way that works for the department because its CIO-hiring process “is necessarily different than other agencies, since it is military and not civilian.”
The Federal Infrastructure and Common Application Center would also be changed to a three-year pilot program, rather than be a permanent fixture as the original version mandated. The Office of Management and Budget director will head the center, which will be funded by nonappropriated funds.
Housed within the Office of Electronic Government, the collaboration center would “promote coordinated program management practices for the acquisition of IT infrastructure and business applications commonly used by various federal agencies,” according to the bill. Use of the collaboration center is optional.
Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who penned the original bill in early 2013, have been working nearly a year to get FITARA passed. The bill saw its most recent blow when extracted from the National Defense Authorization Act in late fall 2013. FITARA passed as an amendment in the House in June 2013, but was stripped from NDAA by the Armed Services Committee over Thanksgiving recess. This latest version of the bill is being introduced as a suspension amendment.
Changes to the bill can be found here.