Federal IT Procurement Reform in 2014

In late February, the House of Representatives passed the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), a bill that could substantially change the system that the Government uses to purchase IT products and services.  This is the second time that the House has passed FITARA in the last year, but this latest passage comes at a time when the IT procurement system is under heightened scrutiny following the delays and glitches associated with Healthcare.gov, increasing the likelihood that the bill in some form ultimately will be passed into law this year.  In the recently published article, “Federal IT Procurement’s “15 Minutes of Fame”:  Healthcare.gov, the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, and the Prospects for Significant Reform in 2014”[BML1] , authors Michael McGill, Brendan Lill, and Michael Scheimer take stock of the current state of federal IT procurement, review FITARA’s potential reforms, and flag some of the lingering challenges to meaningful, long-term reform that could undermine implementation of FITARA.  Some of the key FITARA reforms discussed in the article include:

  • Expansion of the Chief Information Officer Authority and Accountability
  • Establishment of Federal Centers for IT Acquisition
  • Strengthening the IT Acquisition Workforce
  • Cataloging the Governmentwide IT Inventory
  • Consolidation of Federal Data Centers
  • Endorsement of “Fixed-Price Technical” Competitions
  • Consideration of Open-Source Software
Contractors interested in how FITARA could impact their business and in federal IT procurement reform in general can access the article, available by clicking here  or on the above link.

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