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FCW : January 2014
In 2013, political ghts over core issues such as spending and the health care overhaul pushed more pedestrian pol- icy measures to the sidelines. As Congress gets back to work after its holiday recess, here is a look at how three key IT policy issues might play out this year. IT acquisition The troubled rollout of HealthCare. gov gave federal IT acquisition unprec- edented attention from media and poli- ticians, with President Barack Obama referring to systemic problems with federal IT. The push to pass the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act nearly made it to the nish line. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and backed by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), would be the most ambitious update to federal IT acquisition laws since the Clinger- Cohen Act of 1996, which established the CIO position at federal agencies. FITARA passed the House as part of the defense authorization bill but was stripped out by committee chair- men who wanted to present a clean bill to Congress for swift passage late in the year. The bill is likely to be rein- troduced in some form this year. Congress' IT agenda teed up for 2014 of global business transactions still rely on Cobol 70% Trending The Senate is taking a more piece- meal approach to IT reform. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced a bipartisan bill that would change CIO authorities and the procurement of commercial technologies. A proposed defense bill amendment from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) would have required the fed- eral government to pursue data con- solidation strategies. It is possible that she will reintroduce that bill as a stand- alone measure. The two pieces taken together cover much of the ground that FITARA does. China sourcing IT vendors want to eliminate language in a House spending bill that would place restrictions on software and hardware produced by companies with links to the Chinese government and military. The restrictions were includ- ed in the continuing resolution that funded the government in scal 2013 and are likely to be considered again in the scal 2014 appropriations bill that funds the departments of Justice and Commerce and most science programs. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), chair- man of the Appropriations Commit- tee's Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee, is a key architect of the restrictions. Given Wolf's announcement in December that he will not seek re-election, it is pos- sible that his supporters in the House will back inclusion of the restrictions in the scal 2014 appropriations bill, which has been reported out of Wolf's subcommittee. But it is also possible that lawmak- ers will choose the Senate's language, which backs risk-based supply-chain security measures rather than country- speci c restrictions. In addition, with the fiscal 2014 spending bills set to proceed under regular order, lawmakers will have more opportunities to offer amend- ments. And there are early signs that vendors are gearing up for a full court January 2014 FCW.COM 3 FCW CALENDAR Cybersecurity This webcast (produced by FCW sister publication GCN) will explore the use of big data to help identify and combat advanced cyber threats. Online. http://is.gd/GCNcyber Social gov Social media experts from the General Services Administration and the departments of Agriculture, Interior and State will discuss innovations in service delivery at AFCEA Bethesda's January breakfast. Bethesda, Md. http://is.gd/basohu 1/23 1/22 IT acquisition The National Institutes of Health's IT Acquisition and Assessment Center will offer free training on its two governmentwide acquisition contracts and their bene ts. Online. http://is.gd/tevavo 1/28 Rep. Frank Wolf's decision not to seek re- election could affect efforts to restrict the purchase of technology from China. AP IMAGES Continued on Page 7