FITARA is a 'good bipartisan, bicameral piece of legislation,' says Sen. Tom Carper. (Staff)
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed several bills June 25 that would reform agency IT spending and IT project management – and save the government money, according to proponents.
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) would give the agency chief information officer approval over IT budgets and allow the CIO to review all IT staff positions and give approval over any CIOs at the component agency level.
FITARA would also codify into law an IT dashboard to make publicly available the cost, schedule and performance data for each major IT investment and make the Office of Management and Budget responsible for making sure the data is accurate.
The bill would help reduce program duplication, strengthen oversight over costly IT programs and save agencies money, Carper said.
“I think it’s a good bipartisan, bicameral piece of legislation,” Carper said.
The Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 would allow agencies to forgo current requirements to test IT and management systems every three years in favor of more frequent checks on key systems and programs.
The committee also passed the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center Act of 2014, which codifies the Department of Homeland Security’s current cyber operations center into law and makes it the federal civilian information sharing hub for cybersecurity.
The bill would also allow the center to share cybersecurity information and analysis with the private sector and provide incident response and technical assistance to companies and agencies.
“While our work in this area is far from finished, these bills are an important step in our effort to modernize our nation's cybersecurity programs and help the public and private sectors work together to tackle cyber threats more effectively in the future,” Carper said.