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FCW : January 2014
8 January 2014 FCW.COM Instagram users follow the Interior Department's account --- a 500 percent increase in 2013 189,000 Join the conversation FCW usesTwitter to break news, eld questions and ask our own. Learn more atTwitter.com/FCWnow. "Beyond better buying power: DOD acquisition reform needs a boost" @FCWnow writes http://bit.ly/1doUnjR on report http://bit.ly/18yJrCP 7:30AM-19Dec13 Business of Gov't @BusOfGovernment Reply Retweet Favorite Fallout from the botched rollout of the HealthCare.gov website could include major changes to the way the government hires IT personnel and manages large-scale IT projects, according to a Jan. 3 report in the Wall Street Journal. The Obama administration is con- sidering streamlining the process for hiring IT specialists to match the velocity of the private sector and using executive branch authority to do it. Another proposal would have gov- ernment IT workers gain private-sector experience through rotations at various companies --- the opposite of the Presi- dential Innovation Fellows program. Among the more radical changes under consideration is the creation of a one-stop tech shop inside the gov- ernment that would work on high- pro le public-facing websites rather than having each agency be respon- sible for its own procurement, design and production. An unnamed federal official is quoted in the article as saying there is " erce urgency to tackle the prob- lem" of IT procurement, and the gov- ernment planned to take a hard look at 50 IT projects under development. It is not clear which direction the administration will take, but of cials cited in the article say changes could come as early as the rst quarter of this year. The government tracks spending and scheduling for high-profile IT projects through the IT Dashboard, a website maintained by the Of ce of Management and Budget. However, the data is updated infrequently. The site currently displays data from Aug. 30, 2013, and it is not due for a refresh until next month. --- Adam Mazmanian White House considers IT overhaul Trending The Government Accountability Of ce said complex acquisition processes and weaknesses in project planning con- tributed to delays in transitioning to Networx from the General Services Administration's FTS 2001 contracts. According to the GAO study, agen- cies tended to transition easier items to Networx to demonstrate progress and delayed items that needed longer lead times, such as data networks and international services. As a result, auditors said GSA's estimated cost to complete the transition increased 44 percent --- or $66.4 million --- over the baseline forecast. However, in a blog post in November, Bill Lewis, Net- worx program manager at GSA's Of ce of Integrated Technology Services, said the government was saving an aver- age of 35 percent off regular prices by using Networx. GSA launched the program in 2007 but ran into a number of dif culties, including larger demand by federal users for more complex and diverse telecommunications services. Those problems resulted in a three-year implementation delay and millions of dollars in lost savings. GAO's report comes as GSA is devel- oping Network Services 2020 (NS2020). According to GAO, GSA plans to begin the transition to the new vehicle in Feb- ruary 2017. Networx is used to buy all manner of telecom services, from toll-free num- bers to complex agency-wide networks for voice, data and video services. Among the problems GAO cited are duplicative contract vehi- cles, a large number of service options and changes related to the process for ensuring fair competition among service providers. Declines in contract- ing and technical expertise at agencies compounded those problems. "The rocky transition to the Net- worx contracts was, unfortunately, a lesson in lost opportunities," said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmen- tal Affairs Committee, who released a joint statement with Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Jan. 6. The senators advised GSA to use the lessons it learned with Networx to shape the transition to NS2020. --- Mark Rockwell GAO: Networx transition could have been smoother ZAID HAMID Tom Carper