The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Congress Sets Its Eyes on IT Acquisition Reform

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.


On February 27, 2013, the House Committee on Government Reform held its second hearing on information technology (IT) acquisition reform.  According to an article in Nextgov, legislation proposed by the Committee could be the largest overhaul of IT acquisition since 1996.  Federal IT spending has grown 76 percent since 2001, and in 2012 the federal government spent approximately $80 billion per year on IT, including maintenance of obsolete, duplicative or deficient IT resources. On February 5, 2013, Citizens Against Government Waste’s President, Tom Schatz testified before the Government Reform Committee regarding wasteful and duplicative spending by government agencies, and offered solutions to improve federal IT management and acquisition, such as increased use of cloud computing solutions and the use of software asset management tools. This most recent hearing highlighted the need for improved awareness and use of cloud services, investments in the federal acquisition workforce, a centralized chief information officer (CIO) in each agency in order to consolidate resources, and improved accountability in IT purchases.  It also demonstrated how services such as cloud computing tools can be utilized to better manage IT resources by allowing agencies to pay only for the IT resources they actually consume, rather than potentially purchasing more computing power than they actually need. Last fall, Chairman Issa posted a draft bill on the Committee’s website for public review, and according to his opening statement, received several comments on the draft legislation.  This review of the role of the federal CIOs in IT management and acquisition is an important step towards improving and streamlining federal IT purchasing and management.

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