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Issa, Connolly launch Cloud Caucus

US Capitol

Though they are occasionally fierce political rivals, Reps. Darrell Issa and Gerry Connolly see eye to eye on many problems in federal IT acquisitions. The California Republican and the Virginia Democrat are inviting members to join the new bipartisan Congressional Cloud Computing Caucus, "dedicated to fostering awareness and understanding of this critical IT issue."

The announcement came at the Jan 16 Cloud Computing Brainstorm sponsored by MeriTalk.

The two previously teamed up to sponsor the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), a bill to strengthen CIO authorities at agencies and encourage enterprise-wide IT buying practices. FITARA is strongly supportive of cloud transition and would require the CIO Council to establish "government-wide standards for security assessments pertaining to cloud offerings"

A letter inviting lawmakers  to join the caucus said "the versatility and scalability of cloud computing will save taxpayer money and offer policymakers a chance to address the federal government’s dismal record of procuring and using information technology."

The effort appears to be in the same vein as the High Tech Caucus, led by Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), which convenes members around issues such as spectrum redeployment, cybersecurity and tech-workforce needs.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Jan 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

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Reader comments

Mon, Jan 20, 2014 John weiler United States

Hopefully, Congress recognizes that "bureaucracies will choose failure over change" as noted by DIA Deputy Director David Shedd following a speech by Chairman Rogers. Congress must start holding agency leaders accountable for the repeated failure patterns and waste that permeate the Federal IT community, with neither contractors nor agency leads ever held accountable. We also need incentives that will encourage embrace of commercial best practices and away from antiquated FFRDC developed approaches that obscure innovations and favor analysis/paralysis. Following a review of the 40 largest IT program failures, our study found two identical failure patterns in 100% of these wasteful programs; 1) Mis-use of FFRDC who controlled the acquisition strategy, and 2) continued use of water-fall acquisition and solution engineering processes that our FFRDCs helped create. If these two root causes are not addressed, no amount of legislation will have an impact.

Fri, Jan 17, 2014 Owen Ambur H

The Cloud Computing Caucus Advisory Group's about statement is now available in open, standard, machine-readable StratML format at http://xml.fido.gov/stratml/drybridge/index.htm#CCCAG It will be good when Cloud-based services supporting the StratML standard enable agencies to comply easily with section 10 of the GPRA Modernization Act (GPRAMA). http://xml.fido.gov/stratml/references/PL111-532StratML.htm#SEC10

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