MeriTalk: Fed Experts: Agencies Struggle With Funding to Make FITARA Progress

Federal experts today agreed that while the FITARA Scorecard serves as a useful tool for agencies to track IT-related performance, many agencies struggle with funding to make meaningful progress on some FITARA grading categories.

During an ATARC event today, Tom Harrell, a senior IT policy analyst and consultant to the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) CIO, Office of Administrative Management, argued that FITARA would make more of an impact if there was funding to assist agencies in their IT improvement efforts…

“I think the perspective held by leadership is a heck of a lot different than the boots on the ground,” he added. “It’s great that we’re having this discussion, but no matter how much of leadership signs on to ZTA, we have to somehow get it down to boots on the ground,” he said…

Joseph Ronzio, deputy chief technology officer, Office of Health Information, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, agreed with Harrell and said all government agencies are having a similar problem…

“As you keep changing the measures, is the funding following it before you get rated on it, or is it following it two or three years after you’re getting rated on it? And that becomes a challenge if you’re going to fund it after you make it a requirement,” Ronzio said. “Well, how did you build it? How did you develop it and how did you implement it? A lot of agencies will struggle to take things out of ‘high’ to follow up and implement the latest security if they don’t have money for it.” … Read the full article here.

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