No failures, but some declines in 10th round of agency FITARA grades

Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu 

Although all two dozen agencies got passing grades on the latest Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) scorecard, some agencies had cybersecurity and reporting challenges.

Ahead of an Aug. 3 hearing, the House Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on Government Operations released its tenth FITARA scorecard tallying how 24 large federal agencies have managed their IT over the last several months.

Although the subcommittee said all 24 agencies had received an overall passing grade for the first time, four saw a decline in their scores during the period. Thirteen maintained scores from the last report in December, while seven showed improvements.

The General Services Administration reprised its A+ grade and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) also retained its A. 

None of the agencies on the scorecard received lower than a C- in overall scores.

The subcommittee issues scorecards twice a year in accordance with the FITARA legislation.

The Agriculture Department, the Department of Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Social Security Administration all went from a C+ to a B+ in overall scores. The Department of State and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) both moved up from a D- to a C-; the Treasury Department went from a C to a B.

Agencies with declining scores included the Department of Education, which went from an A+ to a B+; the Department of Homeland Security which had a C-down from its B in the last report. The Veterans Administration went from a B+ to a C+. 

Measuring progress on the grades is complicated by the fact that the FITARA scorecard is a moving target, with new items added as IT legislation progresses.

The latest scorecard added agency progress on moving over to the General Services Administration's $50 billion next-generation Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) contract. Despite its overall C- FITARA score, the NRC had the highest mark on the EIS transition, with 86%, while the National Aeronautics and Space Administration had the lowest with 20%. There a total of six agencies with transition percentages under 30% and six with totals at or above 50%.

The VA's D grade in PortfolioStat review category also helped drag its overall score down, as did an F grade in data center optimization and a D in modernization categories.

This article was updated Aug. 5 to reflect a correction in the FITARA scorecard made by the Government Accountability Office that changed USAID's overall FITARA score to an A.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

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 [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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