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FCW: Omnibus Bill Includes IT Oversight Exemption Language for Nat’l Labs

budget analysis reviewCongress unveiled a fiscal 2016 appropriations bill that contains language to exempt Energy Department-funded research centers from a spending oversight requirement stated in the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, FCW reported Wednesday.

FITARA gives agency chief information officers authority over IT budgeting and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has told FCW that he believes the provision could affect efforts of national laboratories to acquire and maintain high-performance computers.

“I am concerned that this well-intentioned law could make it more difficult to develop the technology we need to support the Department of Energy’s research and national security missions,” Alexander was quoted as saying.

FCW reports the omnibus funding bill also includes a provision that would require the Office of Personnel Management to allocate about $21 million for OPM’s IT security initiatives.

The 2016 spending package would also add $290 million in funds to support cybersecurity, fraud prevention and taxpayer assistance programs in the government, the report said.

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