Coming in March: Biggest Fed IT Acquisition Overhaul Plan Since 1996

February 27, 2013

House Oversight Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., plans to introduce legislation to overhaul the way the government buys information technology by the time Congress breaks for its spring recess in late March, he said during a hearing Wednesday.

Issa first floated the proposed IT reboot in September and has been gathering input from industry and government IT and acquisition workers since then.

The Federal IT Reform Act would give agency chief information officers full budget authority including the ability to shift funds from one project to another based on particular needs. It would also gather experts in certain acquisition fields into centers of excellence where they could advise their peers and do more IT purchasing on a governmentwide basis.

The government’s $80 billion in annual IT purchases has been plagued by cost overruns and missed deadlines. IT officials including federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel have focused on chopping IT projects up into more manageable pieces so technology doesn’t outpace a project by the time it’s completed.

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