Press release

Seventy Percent of Feds Say FITARA Is Effective in Accelerating Federal IT Modernization

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One week ahead of the June 26th release of the FITARA 8.0 scorecard and Congressional hearing, MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT, today announced the results of its latest survey, “FITARA: Grading the Grader.” The survey, underwritten by Dell Technologies, reveals how Federal agencies view the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA). Ahead of the eighth scorecard, Feds raise their hands to share FITARA progress, challenges, and government tech spending.

Congressman Connolly and committee members will discuss the latest FITARA scorecard 8.0 results next week on June 26 during a hearing. The results of the 8.0 FITARA scorecard are available in an easy to digest format on MeriTalk’s FITARA Dashboard – which provides the 8.0 grades, as well as analysis and agencies’ grades over the years.

So, has FITARA made the honor roll? According to the survey of more than 200 Federal IT leaders, 68 percent believe that FITARA has improved Federal IT efficiency, and 70 percent say it has been effective in accelerating Federal IT modernization – especially considering the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act and the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF).

However, it’s not quite time to throw our caps in the air. Fewer than one in four Feds (23 percent) give FITARA an “A” for overall effectiveness. Why? It comes down to culture – 38 percent say they don’t feel the pain of a bad FITARA scorecard and another 38 percent see FITARA improvements as a long-term exercise, whereas they are focused on day-to-day results.

To underline the importance of FITARA success, Feds also weighed in on IT spending. While the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reports the Federal government will spend $92 billion this year on IT, Federal IT leaders estimate the actual spend to be much higher. When factoring in shadow IT, Feds say the real annual spend is approximately $171 billion – almost double OMB’s number.

What’s worse? Feds estimate 30 percent of the Federal government’s IT spend is either wasted or spent on duplicate programs; that’s $51 billion based on the total spending estimate above.

“These results clearly demonstrate that FITARA has been a driver in Federal IT reform,” said Congressman Gerry Connolly, (D-VA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations and Chairman for the FITARA Awards. “Seventy percent of those surveyed recognize FITARA’s effectiveness and more than two-thirds believe FITARA has led to IT modernization and efficiency. We have a road map for moving forward and room for improvement, and I am confident the FITARA scorecard and this survey will continue to provide the transparency and accountability necessary to modernize Federal IT.”

Looking ahead to summer school, Feds offer recommendations for moving the IT modernization needle forward and boosting FITARA scores in 2019. Forty-six percent recommend enabling public-private dialogue on IT best practices; 43 percent suggest setting up a Chief Information Officer/Chief Financial Officer working group on FITARA; and 34 percent advocate tying IT budgets to FITARA scores.

Now in its fifth year, this FITARA 8.0 scorecard grades continue to improve with increased emphasis on accelerating IT modernization through MGT, TMF, and other Federal IT initiatives.

“FITARA: Grading the Grader” is based on a survey of 212 Federal IT leaders on FITARA progress, challenges, and government tech spending, in May 2019. To download the infographic, please visit:

About MeriTalk

The voice of tomorrow’s government today, MeriTalk is a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT. Our award-winning editorial team and world-class events and research staff produces unmatched news, analysis, and insight. The goal: more efficient, responsive, and citizen-centric government. MeriTalk connects with an audience of 151,000 Federal community contacts. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, @MeriTalk. MeriTalk is a 300Brand organization.