Our Contracts Help You Flex Your FITARA Muscle

sword-shield-federal-fitaraThe 2014 Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) has demanded Chief Information Officers (CIOs) be given more authority to oversee and direct IT spending at their agencies, but the task of actually making that happen is daunting for many CIOs who don’t know exactly where to start.

“There is a gap that exists today in federal cybersecurity procurement policy,” Sword & Shield Federal Vice President Raymond Kahre said. “To simply stay even with emerging threats requires unique combinations of cybersecurity products and services that may involve multiple stakeholders with different definitions of success. Finding the right procurement vehicle that is flexible enough to meet these goals can be tough, especially when trying to apply 20th century procurement policy to 21st century problems.”

Sword & Shield Federal offers two pre-competed contracts – NASA SEWP V and the National Institutes of Health’s NITAAC CIO-CS – to help federal CIOs apply their FITARA leverage and purchase the tools they need to strengthen their cybersecurity posture.

Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) is a multi-award Government-Wide Acquisition Contract (GWAC) vehicle focused on commercial IT products and product based services. With more 140 pre-competed prime contract holders, SEWP offers a wide range of commercial advanced technology and product-based services.

The NITAAC (NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center) CIO-CS program is a full-service acquisition program that can be used by any federal civilian or Department of Defense (DoD) agency to acquire information technology services, solutions, and commodities from pre-qualified vendors at lower than open market prices in less time than going the traditional full and open route.

“The NASA SEWP V and CIO-CS contracts are particularly helpful vehicles for contracting professionals seeking to procure cybersecurity products and services. Both GWACs are pre-competed firm-fixed price contracts which places greater risk on the contract holder to perform while simultaneously satisfying fair consideration and competition requirements of Federal Acquisition Regulation.”

Raymond Kahre, Sword & Shield Federal Vice President

FITARA allows CIOs to have a “significant role” in programming, budgeting and decision-making related to IT at their agencies. That includes approving the IT portion of the annual budget requests agencies submit to Congress.

The law bars agencies from signing any contracts for IT or IT services unless the agency CIO has signed off on the deals. The bill similarly bars agencies from redistributing IT funds without CIO approval.

While legislation does not always produce a better balance between rapidly changing opportunities for IT-based efficiency and agility, FITARA’s emphasis on central authority and accountability is a move to help agency CIOs get a handle on their IT and cybersecurity spending.

FITARA mandates:

  • Fewer but more powerful CIOs with new authority over hiring, project funding and approvals, and the delegation of responsibilities to sub-agency CIOs
  • IT budget protection allowing civilian agency CIOs authority to prevent the reassignment of IT funds to other programs
  • Agile/incremental development approaches for new systems to be used instead of traditional “specify in detail up front” approaches
  • Annual reviews to reduce IT redundancies and improve costs, schedules and outputs
  • Government-wide software purchasing to leverage centralized buying power and strategic sourcing
  • Centralized authority over data center consolidation
  • Development of an IT acquisition workforce with expanded access to specialized, highly skilled programs and project managers

At Sword & Shield Federal, we are excellent partners with proven processes. Through our two GWACs, we work with some of FedRAMP’s most active moderate– and high-level CSPs to provide agencies with the secure services they need.

Contact us at 800-860-0075, at federal@swordshield.com or fill out a consultation request to discuss how we can help your improve your cybersecurity posture.

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