FITARA is an important piece of legislation and Congressmen Darrell Issa and Gerry Connolly deserve credit for ushering it through the House. While not everyone believes that having a single CIO in charge at each agency will solve the problems of duplicative IT spending, it is a positive step in the right direction and the most important enhancement of the CIO's role in government since the 1996 Clinger-Cohen Act.
The acquisition reforms are also much needed, and Congressman Issa and Connolly again deserve credit in listening to the concerns of industry and adjusting the legislation, so for instance, open source software and proprietary software can compete on a more level playing field for federal business. In particular, agencies need better acquisition tools to buy computing by the day or week, versus the procedures most agencies still must follow, written at a time when computing buys and software licensing deals could take 3-year to complete.
FITARA also makes data center optimization and the need for a highly skilled IT workforce important components in agency planning and reporting that should also help drive out wasteful IT practices. Now we see how serious the Senate is about addressing these issues.