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House OKs Bill Expanding Federal CIOs’ IT Investment Role

Congressman Darrell Issa
Rep. Darrell Issa

The House of Representatives has approved legislation expanding the chief information officers’ role in overseeing information technology investments as the government seeks to eliminate duplicated spending, FedScoop reported Friday.

Cory Bennett writes Rep. Darrell Issa sponsored the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act intended to process IT acquisitions with transparency, centralize decision making and remove unnecessary IT spending of approximately $20 billion annually.

FITARA amends the National Defense Authorization Act and seeks to put only one CIO in every agency, according to FedScoop.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement that none of the more than 250 federal CIOs currently has the authority to manage IT programs, resulting in redundant spending that costs a large amount of taxpayer money.

The bill will reduce other existing CIO roles to deputy, associate or assistant CIO and enable the CIO council to collaborate and share services and platforms, FedScoop reported.

Bennett writes that total federal spending on IT products and services reaches more than $80 billion annually.

Proponents of FITARA expect the bill to also help agencies transition to cloud platforms and remove old IT services, which account for 47 percent of federal managers’ budgets, the report said.

The bill will require agencies to post 80 percent of these investments on a public dashboard, FedScoop reported.

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