Editorial

The decision by the Defense Information Systems Agency to move ahead with the systems integration contract on its next-generation network acquisition in spite of a protest is only the latest example of what critics charge is a pervasive Defense Department attitude. Many DOD officials really believe that their agency's needs and mission put them outside the rules that govern the rest of the government.

A couple of examples that support the argument are the agency's well-documented reluctance to follow the General Services Administration Board of Contract Appeals' directives in protests and the abortive attempt to insert language into a DOD authorization bill that would exempt DOD from large portions of the Information Technology Management Reform Act.

Recent procurement reform is based on the belief that if agencies are permitted to behave more like businesses, then government will perform more efficiently and cost less.

Another key element of the reform is management accountability. Agency officials are responsible for measuring the performance of their investments in information technology.

Apparently DOD officials just don't want to have to report to any civilian organization on their performance. Particularly not if it might have budget implications. DOD already exempts itself from many of the processes that other agencies go through in the budget creation process.

The management measures included in ITMRA are essential to the success of reform. DOD, despite its special needs, is part of the same IT world as the rest of the government. The sooner that old attitude dies, the sooner reform has a chance of making a difference.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • Social network, census

    5 predictions for federal IT in 2017

    As the Trump team takes control, here's what the tech community can expect.

  • Rep. Gerald Connolly

    Connolly warns on workforce changes

    The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee's Government Operations panel warns that Congress will look to legislate changes to the federal workforce.

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers his inaugural address

    How will Trump lead on tech?

    The businessman turned reality star turned U.S. president clearly has mastered Twitter, but what will his administration mean for broader technology issues?

  • Login.gov moving ahead

    The bid to establish a single login for accessing government services is moving again on the last full day of the Obama presidency.

  • Shutterstock image (by Jirsak): customer care, relationship management, and leadership concept.

    Obama wraps up security clearance reforms

    In a last-minute executive order, President Obama institutes structural reforms to the security clearance process designed to create a more unified system across government agencies.

  • Shutterstock image: breached lock.

    What cyber can learn from counterterrorism

    The U.S. has to look at its experience in developing post-9/11 counterterrorism policies to inform efforts to formalize cybersecurity policies, says a senior official.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group