Procurement

VanRoekel sees limitations in FITARA

Steve VanRoekel 102012

In some of his first public comments on the Federal IT Procurement Reform Act  federal CIO Steve VanRoekel said that while he was "applauding the House Oversight committee" for taking up IT reform, he thought the version that was  passed by the House "has a couple of limitations."

VanRoekel noted that FITARA doesn't include the Department of Defense, which is responsible for about half the federal government's $81 billion IT budget. "A proposed bill that exempts them creates a limiting factor for me," VanRoekel said.

VanRoekel didn't directly address whether President Obama would sign the bill, which passed the House as part of the fiscal 2014 Defense authorization measure. FITARA has yet to be introduced in the Senate. The comments were aired Aug. 5 on the debut episode of "Government Matters," a new Sunday morning public affairs program focusing on IT, defense, and government management on WJLA in Washington, D.C.

FITARA's key co-sponsor, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, praised the bill on a separate segment of the program. Issa said FITARA, which would give budget authority over IT to department level CIOs, would empower CIOs in their dealing with Congress, particularly when it comes to reprogramming funds. "It would be very good to have CIOs at the table saying, 'this is the reprogramming authority I need, why I need it, and what it's for.' And be accountable," Issa said. He also thinks it's important to legislate CIO authority, rather than rely on guidance from the Office of Management and Budget. "Congress has a role, and the role is we pass a law [and] it outlives any OMB director," Issa said.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy, health IT and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mr. Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian started his career as an arts reporter and critic, and has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, Architect magazine, and other publications. He was an editorial assistant and staff writer at the now-defunct New York Press and arts editor at the About.com online network in the 1990s, and was a weekly contributor of music and film reviews to the Washington Times from 2007 to 2014.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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