The Department of Labor has made it a top priority to migrate older, outdated IT solutions to the cloud. This strategy not only increases cybersecurity and protects critical data, but also ensures that apps are readily available to serve the public when needed. Additionally, cloud migration helps save taxpayer dollars and is a key factor in the latest FITARA scorecard.

FITARA, or the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, is released twice a year as an important tool in federal oversight. It is designed to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of government IT investments.

The latest version, FITARA 17.0, considers six total categories, two of which are new, and tracks progress in four other categories that are not included in the overall score. The Government Accountability Office, which helps compile the scores for Congress, notes that the updates make it difficult to directly compare the latest scorecard to its previous version, FITARA 16.0.

Unfortunately, about half of the 24 largest federal agencies saw their grades slip due to the new metrics, including the Department of Labor. The main contributing factor was the inclusion of a new category for cloud computing. This section goes beyond just cloud migration as a security measure and also considers procurement-related requirements outlined in the Office of Management and Budget’s Federal Cloud Computing Strategy for cloud contracts and service level agreements (SLAs).

In response to the new FITARA categories, the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) at the Department of Labor appreciates the continued focus on important aspects of federal IT. This congressional oversight pushes all agencies to strive for better services for the American public.

The OCIO is actively working to improve upon the OMB’s cloud computing requirements by ensuring that cloud SLAs are in place and standardizing cloud SLA contracts. This is crucial in ensuring that the Department of Labor’s digital services are reliable and available to the public, while also keeping their data safe.

The OCIO has also helped the department maintain or exceed average scores in FITARA’s other graded categories, with As in three categories and an improvement in cybersecurity from a C to a B. This increase in our cybersecurity score highlights our ongoing progress in implementing processes and tools to continuously monitor and diagnose the protection of the department’s systems, applications, and data.

The OCIO remains committed to IT best practices, including modernizing data, apps, and platforms, reducing costs, and improving government services and customer experience. The next FITARA scorecard is expected to be released in the summer of 2024.

Lisa Glufling, the director of IT governance at the U.S. Department of Labor, leads the OCIO team. Follow OCIO on LinkedIn for updates and job opportunities. 

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