As federal agencies are slated to spend almost $80 billion on federal information technology (“IT”) acquisitions this fiscal year and the OMB prepares to issue its final guidance on the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (“FITARA”), GAO has released two reports this month that discuss ongoing efforts to improve IT procurement.  Combined with GAO’s recent addition of IT acquisitions and operations to its list of high-risk programs (which we previously discussed), these new reports underscore GAO’s ongoing emphasis on reforming IT acquisitions to reduce redundancy and increase efficiency.

In the first report, GAO added federal software licenses to its list of twenty-four areas in which it discovered evidence of fragmentation, overlap, or duplication in federal government programs.  Citing its May 2014 report on federal agencies’ management of software licenses, GAO explained that a vast majority of agencies do not have sufficient policies to manage their software licenses.  According to GAO, this mismanagement results in over-purchasing licenses, which leads to unnecessary spending, and under-purchasing licenses, which leads to fees for violating licensing agreements.  Therefore, GAO reemphasized that agencies should implement software license management policies that, among other things, provide for centralized management of software licenses and ensure that a software license inventory is created and maintained. Continue Reading GAO Reports Highlight Ongoing Struggles in Reforming IT Acquisitions and Operations

GAO has added IT Acquisitions and Operations to its list of programs it identifies as posing a high risk for fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement.  This biennial list contains GAO’s analysis of newly- and previously-added high-risk programs and recommendations for improving their economy, efficiency, and effectiveness.

In adding IT Acquisitions and Operations to this list, GAO observed that “federal IT investments too frequently fail to be completed or incur cost overruns and schedule slippages while contributing little to mission-related outcomes.”  The GAO noted that “the federal government has spent billions of dollars on failed and poorly performing IT investments, which often suffered from ineffective management, such as project planning, requirements definition, and program oversight and governance.”  As a result, improving IT acquisition requires “[p]erseverance by the executive branch in implementing GAO’s recommended solutions and continued oversight and action by Congress.”

Continue Reading IT Acquisitions and Operations Added to GAO’s List of High-Risk Programs

IT-acquisition reform remains an area of ongoing concern for Federal agencies and government contractors.  Indeed, as we previously discussed, the GAO has added IT Acquisitions and Operations to its bi-annual list of programs it identifies as posing a high risk for fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement.  Strengthened by Congress’ passage in December 2014 of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (“FITARA”), OMB has implemented several initiatives to reduce redundancy, improve efficiencies, and lower costs with respect to the government’s procurement and management of IT resources.  However, a recent Department of Defense (“DoD”) Inspector General (“IG”) audit report analyzing one of these initiatives—the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (“FDCCI”) —highlights the ongoing struggle that Federal agencies face when seeking to execute IT reform.  If DoD responds to this audit report by stepping up its efforts under FDCCI, one result could be increased opportunities for IT contractors offering cloud computing and other services. Continue Reading DoD IG Report Reveals Ongoing Struggles in IT-Acquisition Reform