Press Releases

Press Releases

House Passes Rep. Issa Bill To Reduce Wasteful Government Spending in IT

Press Release
Oct 11, 2017

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista) released the following statement after the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation he introduced with Congressman Gerald Connolly (D-VA) that would extend and improve landmark legislation they passed in 2014 to reduce waste, and streamline the way the federal government purchases computer technology. The FITARA Enhancement Act of 2017 (H.R. 3243) which passed today extends three provisions of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition and Reform Act that are set to expire at the end of the year.  
 
According to estimates from the Government Accountability Office, as much as 75% of the federal government’s $80 billion yearly information technology budget is spent on maintaining out-of-date or obsolete systems. Other reports from the government’s watchdog regularly show that many of the federal government’s IT investments frequently fail or underperform from a lack of oversight.
 
Issa and Connolly’s landmark federal IT reforms (FITARA) help correct these problems and reduce waste by implementing strong oversight standards, encouraging consolidation of programs within the government, requiring agencies report their progress on initiatives to consolidate and modernize data centers, creating metrics to evaluate the performance of programs, encouraging modernization, and creating a clear line of responsibility, authority, and accountability over IT investment.
 
“This legislation is critical to ensuring FITARA’s benefits are seen through to their fullest potential,” said Congressman Darrell Issa. “FITARA has made incredible improvements to how the federal government manages its information technology by cutting waste, saving taxpayer dollars, improving security, and bolstering accountability. Yet, as is often the case in government, it has become clear that our problem with wasteful, forgotten, or duplicative data centers is far bigger than was even imagined. When we first started looking into this problem in 2009, it was estimated the government was running only roughly 1,000 data centers. By 2015, it was uncovered it was running as many 10 times the number initially estimated. As these modernization efforts continue being implemented, we can’t miss out on potential taxpayer savings by simply allowing agencies to run out the clock until the requirements expire the end of next year.”


The legislation follows the Representatives’ “dual track” approach to extending FITARA. In addition to the stand-alone bill passed today, Congressman Issa and Congressman Connolly passed a similar amendment to the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act in July of this year. 
 
The FITARA Enhancement Act of 2017, specifically extends the reporting requirements for data center consolidation, which is set to expire in 2018, and eliminates 2019 sunset provisions for PortfolioStat reviews (which are face-to-face reviews of an agency’s IT portfolio including potentially duplicative programs or investments that do not appear aligned with the agency’s mission) and the Information Technology (IT) Dashboard (which is a tool that allows the public and officials to track investment and performance of more than 7,000 federal IT investments).
 
Congressman Issa authored the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act which was signed into law in 2014.

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