Hearing: Testimony of Darrell Issa, National Defense Priorities from Members for the FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act

House of Representatives


The existing legal framework for IT acquisition and deployment is now 17 years old , a virtual eternity in terms of the evolution of IT technology. While our Government stands by, industry is experiencing tectonic shifts in IT, such as the transition to cloud computing; the shared services model of IT delivery; and the need for data center optimization. Although modest revisions have been made to the procedures used to acquire and deploy modern IT, increasingly the management structure and acquisition procedures currently in place are causing the Government to fall further behind.

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) addresses this rapidly changing landscape by addressing key underlying issues. First, it creates a clear line of responsibility, authority, and accountability over IT investment and management decisions within each agency.

Second, it creates an operational framework to drastically enhance government's ability to procure commonly-used IT faster, cheaper, and smarter. The majority of IT needs such as infrastructure or back office systems and applications are common throughout the Government and could be met by commercially-available solutions. A meaningful IT transformation must target such common and expensive problems.

Third, it strengthens the IT acquisition workforce. No matter how many laws we pass, the effectiveness of our federal acquisition system ultimately depends on a vital human component – the acquisition workforce. Each failed IT procurement a better-trained acquisition professional manages to prevent will save the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. If IT contract overspending is reduced just one percent, taxpayers will save more than $800 million each year. (pp.3-4)