Leaders of the House Government Operations Subcommittee cited heightened cybersecurity concerns today in endorsing the FITARA Scorecard as an enduring mechanism to measure performance of Federal agency IT initiatives and drive future improvements on policy priorities for different agencies.

The 11th edition of the FITARA (Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act) Scorecard released by the House Oversight and Reform Committee showed that most agencies maintained steady scores since mid-2020, with grades for five agency scores declining overall, and three agencies achieving a passing grade.

The easiest way to make sense of the committee’s multicolored scorecard is to view MeriTalk’s

FITARA Dashboard.

On the cybersecurity grading category – one of several that make up the FITARA Scorecard – only one agency earned an “A” grade, two received failing grades, and most were somewhere in the “B” and “C” letter grades.

The chairman and ranking member of the Government Operations Subcommittee, which issues the biannual scorecard every six months, commented today on the heightened importance of agency cybersecurity especially in light of the Russian-backed hack of some Federal agency and private sector networks via SolarWinds software.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, continued reliance on remote work, and an unprecedented and highly sophisticated cyber-attack by a foreign adversary – the importance of federal agencies’ effective use of IT is too great to ignore,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., chairman of the subcommittee

“This subcommittee will not waiver in its continued dedication to the improvement of federal IT acquisition and management,” he pledged. “FITARA remains an effective tool at catalyzing IT advancement across the enterprise of the federal government. Let’s ensure we use it to continue to raise the bar.”

“Agencies’ information technology systems need to meet modern day challenges, steward taxpayer dollars, and ensure the success of their critical mission,” commented Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., ranking member of the subcommittee. “In light of the recent cyberattack against several U.S. departments and agencies, it’s also imperative to reflect on their state of cyber readiness,” he said.

“I’ve always been focused on making sure FITARA improves the rate at which Federal IT projects are delivered on time and on budget,” Rep. Hice said, adding “I look forward to working with Chairman Connolly to also capture how well these projects improve the taxpayer’s experience when engaging with agencies.”

Separately, a source on the full Oversight and Reform Committee told MeriTalk that the committee plans to hold a hearing on latest edition of the FITARA Scorecard “early next Congress after the Biden administration has had a chance to set up agency leadership.”

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.