If the top 26 federal agencies have 250 CIOs between them, is that a problem?
Rep. Gerry Connolly, (D-Va.), one of the sponsors of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), said the number reflects a growing diffusion of accountability and decision-making.
Speaking at a gathering of the federal acquisition community, Connolly said it also shows an urgent need for reform. FITARA, he said, will not only clean up federal IT management redundancies, but will also help harness technology to take charge of what he sees as a dangerously declining number of federal contracting managers in the federal workforce.
Connolly, ranking member of the House subcommittee on government management, organization and procurement, made his remarks at the Multiple-Award Government and Industry Conference July 11 in Alexandria, Va. The conference brought together members of the federal acquisition community to discuss the changing nature of the government’s acquisition landscape.
The federal government’s ability to acquire and manage technology is at risk as experienced contracting managers leave and demand increases for technology and technological expertise, according to Connolly.
“I think we’re sliding back,” he said, describing the government’s ability to handle the influx of complex technology and to stave off redundancy and growing costs. The government wants to reduce the number of data centers, he said, but the opposite has happened. “In 1998 the government had 432 data centers. It now has 6,000. What happened?”
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