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FCW : September 15, 2015
erly addressed throughout an agency’s IT organization and infrastructure. To make sure FITARA does not suf- fer the same fate as Clinger-Cohen, a successful rollout is critical. I am pleased to see the approach the Office of Management and Budget and U.S. CIO Tony Scott are taking to support the act. In developing its final guidance to help agencies implement FITARA, OMB sought significant outside input, including insight from former govern- ment CIOs, chief financial officers, chief acquisition officers, chief human capital officers and chief operating officers. OMB also sought public com- ment on the draft guidance, which will improve content, understanding and buy-in over the long term. Yet a significant change-manage- ment component is required to trans- form decades of behavior, and this will take leadership and sustained com- mitment. Accountability for properly implementing FITARA must start with the White House, and then rest with OMB and the agencies. In particular, OMB must help ensure that agency CIOs have the capability to perform their jobs and the support of agency leaders so that CIOs can drive the required change to effectively imple- ment FITARA. Further, agency leaders must be supportive of their CIOs, especially at agencies that operate in a feder- ated environment (this is particularly an issue in the Cabinet-level depart- ments). Congress can support those efforts by demanding aggressive implementation of FITARA by agen- cies, development of measures for assessing FITARA’s impact and trans- parency in reporting ongoing progress while also highlighting obstacles that need to be overcome. There is much confusion regarding IT security and the best way to protect data and systems. No single product or service offers complete protection, and in my experience, if an agency does not implement IT management best practices, many of the security tools are ineffective. Those practices are foundational to success, and effec- tive implementation of FITARA is the government’s best hope to address decades of mismanagement. My final column in this three-part series will cover steps agencies should be taking to rapidly improve their IT security posture, and I will provide recommendations related to the acqui- sition of IT security solutions. n FCW Has Gone Mobile. Go to fcw.com/tablet to download the tablet app today! Your mobile fcw.com experience — optimized. Visit fcw.com from your smartphone and enjoy the easier navigation and new sharing options Y e Vi na Richard A. Spires has been in the IT field for more than 30 years, with eight years in federal gov- ernment service. Most recently, he served as CIO at the Department of Homeland Security. He is now CEO of Resilient Network Systems. September 15, 2015 FCW.COM 31 0915fcw_031-032.indd 31 8/24/15 4:18 PM
August 30, 2015
September 30, 2015