The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) took home the top honor at Wednesday night’s FITARA Awards and FedRAMP Celebration – the awards ceremony hosted by MeriTalk to recognize Federal agencies that are notching superior progress on the FITARA Scorecard issued by the House Oversight and Accountability Committee to grade agencies on a host of IT-related measures.

IT-related gradings for the 24 largest Federal government agencies moved moderately higher on the 15th edition of the FITARA Scorecard issued in December, as seven agencies lifted their scores to the next highest letter grade, 17 agencies hung mostly steady with their previous grades issued in mid-year 2022. The grades issued in December were jostled in particular by tighter scrutiny on agency progress in transitioning to Enterprise Information Solutions contracts. 

The FITARA Awards – conducted in person this year at the Rayburn House Office Building after a pandemic layoff – featured a news-breaking comment from Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., one of the prime movers behind the 2014 Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), and the 15 versions of the scorecard issued to date (see separate story), about the future course of the FITARA Scorecard. 

Top Spot

USAID – winner of the Best Overall award – was alone among the 24 Federal agencies in acing the test on the FITARA 15 scorecard and received an overall grade of “A” – matching its mark from the 14th version of the scorecard. 

Best in Cyber 

Four agencies were recognized at the FITARA Awards for their progress in the scorecard’s cybersecurity grade – USAID, General Services Administration (GSA), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the National Science Foundation. Each of the agencies earned an “A” grade in the cybersecurity category – which has become somewhat of a contentious subject among committee members based on the quality and availability of agency-specific data. 

Most Improved 

Four agencies – Treasury Department, NASA, Justice Department, and Commerce Department – snagged awards in the Most Improved category. Each of the agencies bumped up their overall grades by at least one full letter grade, to a “B.”

FITARA Champion

David Shive, GSA’s long-serving chief information officer, was recognized with the FITARA Champion award. An 11-year veteran of GSA tech leadership, Shive is a leading advocate of IT improvement in government, and his efforts don’t stop at the agency’s door. He is also vice chair of the Federal CIO Council and serves on the boards of both the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) and the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).

FedRAMP Stalwart

And on the FedRAMP front, the FITARA Awards recognized Brian Conrad, acting FedRAMP director, for his four-plus years in growing the results of the program, and future successes following the program’s codification into Federal law last year. 

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