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CCAGW Applauds House for FITARA Approval

Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) praised members of the House of Representatives for agreeing to amendment #117, the Federal IT Procurement Reform Act (FITARA), to the fiscal year (FY) 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). FITARA was co-sponsored by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR) Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Government Operations Subcommittee Ranking Member Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).

The amendment incorporated much of the language of FITARA when it passed the OGR Committee on March 14. That vote was the culmination of an interactive effort by the committee to receive and discuss feedback on the September 2012 draft of the bill from the IT community and taxpayer organizations. For example, CCAGW called for the inclusion of provisions to improve software asset management through software licensing auditing tools, cutting the number of extraneous software licenses, tracking operations and maintenance spending with the federal IT Dashboard, and increasing the authority and responsibility of agency chief information officers. Other reforms in FITARA include a push for further federal usage of cloud computing and “approval by consent” of federal IT contracts on which no action has been taken for 100 days. Finally, CCAGW joined others in calling for the incorporation of language directing federal agencies to keep their IT procurement practices technology and vendor neutral. That provision follows a 1994 directive from the Office of Management and Budget that was reiterated by the Obama administration in 2011.

“On behalf of taxpayers, CCAGW would like to thank Chairman Issa and the OGR Committee for their groundbreaking work on IT reform,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz. “The conversational and collaborative review of the draft bill established by the committee led to the approval of a critical amendment. We encourage the Senate to retain the FITARA provision in the NDAA in order to save taxpayers billions of dollars and streamline the federal government’s transition into the twenty-first century. The government spends $80 billion annually on IT purchase, therefore making improved procurement of technology of the utmost importance for reducing wasteful spending and improving government efficiency.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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