FedRAMP deadline a soft one

FedRAMP logo -- GSA image

The agencies that oversee the Federal Risk Authorization Management Program are taking a longer view on compliance now that the deadline has passed for federal agencies to use suppliers vetted through the program's baseline security standards.

June 5 was the official deadline at the General Services Administration, which runs FedRAMP, for agencies to comply with the program. The White House Office of Management and Budget works to ensure FedRAMP is widely adopted across government. But neither agency is taking a hard line on compliance with the directive post-deadline.

A statement from OMB provided to FCW on June 9 could well have been issued before the deadline. It contained no specific information about possible consequences for agencies that missed compliance with the deadline.

Instead, OMB said it will be watching the quarterly progress reports for FedRAMP issues in the coming months. "The Office of Management and Budget will conduct oversight through PortfolioStat and other processes to support the annual FISMA Report to gauge agency efforts to meet the June 2014 deadline," said the statement. "As necessary, OMB will work with agencies if the deadline isn't met."

PortfolioStat is a new process the government uses to assess the current maturity of agencies' IT portfolio management process, make decisions on eliminating duplication, augment current CIO-led capital planning and spending control processes, and move to shared solutions to maximize the return on IT investments across the portfolio. Reports under the process are quarterly.

In an interview with FCW on June 4 -- a day before the deadline at GSA -- the FedRAMP Director Maria Roat and Program Manager Matt Goodrich said much the same as OMB. The latest quarterly PortfolioStat report closed the week of May 25, Roat said, and is now being analyzed.

Knowing which agencies comply with the standards probably could take until September, as the ongoing PortfolioStat review and assessment process moves forward.

The next milepost for PortfolioStat is June 19, when OMB should complete its assessment of agency programs. Based on that discussion, according to OMB's May 7 PortfolioStat memo, OMB and agencies will identify and agree on next steps and specific timeframes for what comes next. OMB said it will formalize and send memos out to agencies within three weeks of the completed session, and no later than Aug. 31.

The number of vendors approved to provide cloud infrastructure is increasing, said Goodrich, an encouraging sign. He added that vendors are also becoming more interested in pursuing Joint Authorization Board (JAB)-level approvals for their individual services and products.

"There's a new appetite for authorization" among cloud providers, Goodrich said. GSA wants to assist cloud service providers in the process. The agency "is here to answer questions" that potential cloud vendors have about the vetting process.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

The Fed 100

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


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

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