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In this two-part interview, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), discusses what the latest FITARA scorecard means for agencies, and why there’s “no case” for an OPM-GSA merger.

The eighth iteration of the FITARA scorecard dropped this week, and the results are mixed. No agencies are failing, but none have an ‘A’ grade either. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), one of the architects behind the FITARA legislation, says that progress is slow, but constant.

 

“It gives a roadmap for CIOs in terms of how we can plot progress. The object here is to modernize the federal government. Get rid of legacy systems, some of which go back to the era of Lyndon Johnson, and make sure everything can be encrypted and protected, because we have a lot of big databases,” Rep. Connolly said. “We also want to move to the cloud and get rid of data centers that have proliferated on a stovepipe basis. We want to modernize the org chart in the federal government, so CIOs are reporting to the boss.”

 

Right now, Rep. Connolly is focusing on the proposed OPM-GSA merger. He told Government Matters that the current rationale for the move is unviable, and that both sides of the aisle are skeptical of the idea.

 

“In our view, there’s no case to be made at all, we had a hearing where that was painfully exposed. The rationale, such as it is, there were no documents provided to Congress previous to our insistence and what little we have is unresponsive,” Connolly explained. “This sounds like an a priori idea. ‘Let’s get rid of a federal agency, what’s the target? OPM seemed vulnerable because of the breach.’ The idea that your IT is vulnerable and not very efficient is a rationale for abolishing an agency would threaten a lot of other federal agencies. We can’t accept that rationale.”

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