Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA)

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What is the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA)?

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), passed by Congress in December 2014, is a historic law that represents the first major overhaul of Federal information Technology (IT) in almost 20 years. Since FITARA’s enactment, OMB published guidance to agencies to ensure that this law is applied consistently governmentwide in a way that is both workable and effective. This guidance is now available as OMB Memorandum M-15-14: Management and Oversight of Federal Information Technology.[1]

FITARA outlines specific requirements related to:

  • Agency Chief Information Officer (CIO) Authority Enhancements
  • Enhanced Transparency and Improved Risk Management in IT Investments
  • Portfolio Review
  • Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative
  • Expansion of Training and Use of IT Cadres
  • Maximizing the Benefit of the Federal Strategic Sourcing Initiative
  • Governmentwide Software Purchasing Program

To implement the requirements of FITARA, combined with the need to update policy and guidance related to other modern IT practices, OMB is publishing this guidance. This guidance reflects input from a diverse group of stakeholders, including representatives from the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO), Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO), Assistant Secretary for Management (ASAM), Chief Operating Officer (COO), and CIO communities.

Scope and Applicability

  • Covered agencies: CFO Act agencies3 and their divisions and offices are subject to the requirements outlined in FITARA and this memorandum, except where otherwise noted. The Department of Defense (DOD), the Intelligence Community, and portions of other agencies that operate systems related to national security are subject to only certain portions of FITARA, as provided for in the statute, and shall meet with OMB no later than 60 days following the final release of this guidance to clarify the applicability of this guidance throughout their organizations and activities, including alternative requirements or exceptions.
  • Additionally, all other Executive Branch agencies are encouraged to apply the principles described in this guidance to their management of IT, consistent with their legal authorities.
  • Covered agencies shall implement this guidance in a manner consistent with other legal authorities and should consult with their counsel regarding those authorities.
  • With respect to Offices of Inspectors General (OIG), this guidance should be implemented in a manner that does not impact the independence of those offices and the authorities Inspectors General have over the personnel, performance, procurement, and budget of the OIG, as provided in the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (5 U.S.C. App 3).
  • This memorandum builds upon and will refer to existing OMB policy and guidance.
  • Where possible, this guidance incorporates agency reporting requirements introduced by FITARA into existing OMB processes, such as PortfolioStat, the Integrated Data Collection (IDC),4 Acquisition Human Capital Planning, and the Federal IT Dashboard (ITDB), rather than creating new reporting channels and tools.
  • With respect to Federal statistical agencies and units as defined in the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA),5 covered agencies under FITARA shall implement this guidance in a manner that ensures that statistical data collected under a pledge of confidentiality solely for statistical purposes are used exclusively for statistical purposes, consistent with CIPSEA.

See Also