Senate IT oversight bill would refine OMB’s role

Legislation that would play a part in defining the Office of Management and Budget’s role into the next administration and beyond could pass this year, according to some observers.

The Senate bill, S.3384, would require agencies to report their progress on information technology investments so Congress and OMB would have an early warning system to avert problems before they become too large. The measure has bipartisan support from leaders of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which is expected to discuss and amend the bill in September.

Although OMB is an extension of the White House, the legislation would make the agency the enforcer, said Trey Hodgkins, vice president of federal government programs at the Information Technology Association of America’s public-sector group.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the committee’s Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security Subcommittee, introduced the legislation.
Despite the short time remaining for Congress to act once it comes back from summer recess, the bill could pass this year, Hodgkins said. ITAA hopes “it is adopted with a thoughtful methodical process and not rushed,” he said.

The measure would require agency project managers to file quarterly reports on all of their projects to the agency’s chief information officer. The CIO would be responsible for determining if any of the projects deviated significantly from original baseline projections. If so, the CIO would report that to the agency head, who in turn would be responsible for notifying the appropriate congressional committees.

The bill defines a “gross deviation” as one that is at least 40 percent off of the original baseline for cost, performance or schedule. It also defines “significant deviation” as one that is at least 20 percent off.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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