Technology Reform Act could be most significant reform of federal tech acquisition in more than 20 years
Medsphere Systems Corporation, the leading provider of affordable and interoperable healthcare IT platform solutions, today issued a public statement of support for the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Act (FITAR). The House legislation (H.R. 1232), jointly sponsored by California Republican Darrell Issa and Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly, recently moved with unanimous bipartisan support from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to the floor for a full vote.
If passed, FITAR would essentially prompt federal agencies to behave more like their private-sector counterparts by altering agency purchasing evaluation criteria to include fixed-price technical competition and open-source software as a “commercial item” in the Federal Acquisition Regulation. The bill would also limit federal agencies to one chief information officer (some currently have multiple), make the position a presidential appointee and increase budgeting power for CIOs within their agencies.
“Rep. Issa’s proposed legislation is good government because it empowers individuals to make decisions that improve efficiencies and save tax dollars,” said Medsphere President and CEO Irv Lichtenwald. “Private sector CIOs have to manage their IT budgets and they can choose systems that make the most technological and financial sense. Although strong opposition to the proposed legislation surfaced early among industry trade groups who benefit from the status quo, leaders in government IT have the responsibility and should also have the flexibility to do what’s best for the American taxpayer.”
According to estimates by Chairman Issa’s Government Reform Committee, FITAR could enable federal agencies to turn $20 billion normally spent on obsolete and ineffective IT into $200 billion focused on eliminating waste, fraud and abuse.
“Accomplishing major reform will not be easy,” Issa said in House testimony. “But streamlining our obsolete approach to federal IT needs to be at the heart of our effort to protect taxpayer dollars from further waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement.”
Read more about FITAR: http://www.nextgov.com/cio-briefing/2013/03/oversight-committee-passes-it-reform-act/61984/