Seventy-Nine Percent of Feds Believe FITARA Will Improve the Value of IT at Their Agency

Fifty-two percent of Feds predict FITARA will make IT more accountable

ALEXANDRIA, Va.--()--MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT, today announced the results of its report, “A FITARA Future – What’s Next?” Now that the first OMB deadline has passed, Feds are taking a deeper look into their agency’s Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) future, pointing to a positive forecast – 79 percent of Fed IT professionals believe FITARA will have an overall positive effect on the value of their agency’s IT. The study examines the Federal FITARA forecast, including current perceptions of agency IT and recommendations for optimal FITARA implementation1.

“The Federal IT community’s enthusiasm for IT reform as evidenced by this study, coupled with CIO Scott’s recent positive comments regarding FITARA implementation, show now, more than ever, we have a real chance to streamline and realize efficiencies in IT procurement,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Ranking Member of the House Oversight Subcommittee for Government Operations.

Drilling down on the 79 percent of Feds who believe FITARA will improve the value of IT, the study provides further insight on “the how.” Feds believe FITARA will specifically make IT more accountable (52 percent) and change the perception of IT to be viewed as an integral and critical stakeholder of their agency (36 percent). Feds also predict a positive FITARA future for CIOs – 70 percent believe FITARA will help Federal CIOs improve communication with mission owners.

“The positive energy surrounding the new law and government IT leadership now needs to result in increased CIO accountability, better portfolio management, quicker and more successful delivery of technology, and ultimately improved mission performance,” said Dave Powner, director, information technology management issues, GAO.

FITARA could be the change agent Fed IT needs – today, just 55 percent of Feds believe their IT department is respected and valued by their agency’s line of business professionals. In fact, only 21 percent say agency IT execs are engaged early on in mission and program planning.

“Given the importance of IT in supporting agencies’ missions, it is amazing but not surprising to me that only 21 percent of IT execs are involved in their agency’s early mission and program planning – yet proper implementation of FITARA can rapidly change how government manages IT to drive better agency mission effectiveness,” said Richard Spires, former CIO of DHS and IRS. “The FITARA Forum is a great venue for all interested stakeholders to come together to advance FITARA implementation.”

As for the path forward, Feds’ suggestions range from more dialogue opportunities like the FITARA Forum to a series of other options, including:

  • Creating an online resource (50 percent)
  • Developing suggestions on how FITARA can improve communication (48 percent)
  • Identifying a unit of measurement to track progress (45 percent)

“OMB should be commended for the focus and determination they are placing upon FITARA implementation,” said Rich Beutel, principal, Cyrrus Analytics LLC. “Unlike what happened with the Clinger Cohen Act, which never fulfilled its basic promise of stronger IT oversight and management, the promise of FITARA appears to be coming to fruition going forward. Perhaps this time reform will be sustainable?”

Providing recommendations to GAO on the development of a FITARA scorecard, Feds recommend measuring:

  • Productivity and effectiveness of IT decisions (73 percent)
  • Amount of reduced waste and duplicative IT systems (60 percent)
  • Communication and visibility within agency IT (55 percent)

The majority of Feds – 83 percent – also believe there should be minimum qualifications to serve as a Federal CIO and CISO.

“The Federal IT community is anxious to learn about the upshot of the initial August 15 agency self-reporting data call,” said Steve O’Keeffe, founder, MeriTalk. “FITARA is not about compliance – it’s about transparency, CIO empowerment, and the opportunity to improve Federal IT outcomes.”

Want more FITARA? Join us for the FITARA Forum on December 9, 2015 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. to learn more about your agency’s FITARA future. For more information on the program and registration, please visit: And, for more information on FITARA, please visit:

The “A FITARA Future – What’s Next?” report is based on an in-person and online survey of 62 Federal IT managers in August 2015. The report has a margin of error of +/- 12.43 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. To download the full study, please visit:

About MeriTalk

The voice of tomorrow’s government today, MeriTalk is a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT. Focusing on government’s hot-button issues, MeriTalk hosts Big Data Exchange, Cloud Computing Exchange, Cyber Security Exchange, and Data Center Exchange – platforms dedicated to supporting public-private dialogue and collaboration. MeriTalk connects with an audience of 85,000 government community contacts. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, @meritalk. MeriTalk is a 300Brand organization.

1 Agencies must implement common baseline responsibilities by December 31, 2015.


Olivia Cho, 703-883-9000 ext. 135

Release Summary

MeriTalk's newest report, "A FITARA Future -- What's Next?" examines the Federal FITARA forecast, including current perceptions of agency IT and recommendations for optimal FITARA implementation.


Olivia Cho, 703-883-9000 ext. 135