Dec 13 2018

FITARA Scores Rise for Almost Half of Agencies

The latest scorecard shows that agencies have made progress on software licensing but need to do work in other areas.

On Dec. 11, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released the seventh IT Scorecard, better known as the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) Scorecard. The good news? Almost half of all of the 24 CFO Act agencies saw their grades go up compared to the last scorecard in May.  

The latest scorecard showed that 11 agencies improved their overall grades and the other 13 maintained their previous scores. This comes as more elements have been added to the FITARA scorecard to gauge agencies’ IT modernization efforts. 

Where did the improvement come from? Mainly, agencies improved their software asset management. In July 2016, former President Barack Obama signed into law the Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies Act of 2016. The law, better known as the MEGABYTE Act, requires agency CIOs to develop a comprehensive software licensing policy. Further, starting fiscal year 2017 and continuing for the next five fiscal years, CIOs must submit to the director of OMB a report that details the financial savings or avoidance of spending that has resulted from improved software license management. Under the MEGABYTE Act, agencies are required to create a comprehensive, regularly updated inventory of software licenses and analyze software use to make cost-effective decisions.

The scorecard attributes much of the higher grade to agencies’ “improvements in the software licensing area. In particular, since the committee included software licensing area on the Scorecard in June 2017, 16 agencies have implemented a comprehensive, regularly-updated inventory of software licenses; and also used their inventory to make cost-effective decisions.”

However, as FedScoop reports, agencies are continuing to fall short on setting up a working capital fund for IT modernization, as authorized by the Modernizing Government Technology Act.  Only one agency — the Labor Department  — has set up such a fund, while the Agriculture Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the Small Business Administration say they plan to create such modernization funds managed by their CIOs by 2019 or 2020, according to the scorecard.

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