The 24 largest Federal agencies trended toward lower grades across several IT-related performance categories on the 14th installment of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s FITARA Scorecard issued by the committee on July 28.

The downward trend in Federal agency FITARA scores had less to do with specific agency performance for the first half of 2022, and more to do with scorecard category and methodology changes by the committee. Those changes include the removal of grading for compliance with the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) and the absence of data available to the committee to help figure out cybersecurity-related grades.

The committee said that further category changes are coming with the planned removal for the next grading period of the category measuring whether agency CIOs report to agency heads or deputies.

Top-Line Trends

On the latest scorecard, only one agency earned a higher score compared to the December 2021 gradings, eight agencies saw declining marks, and 15 agencies held steady with the previous grades.

The committee said that if it had used the same methodologies and categories that it employed with the December 2021 scorecard, then four agencies’ grades would have improved, and 20 agencies’ grades would have remained the same.

No agency got a failing grade on the new scorecard, although two agencies – the Defense Department (DoD) and the Transportation Department (DoT) – came close with “D+” overall grades.  And only one agency – the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – received an overall “A” grade, matching its grade from the December 2021 scorecard.

The other 23 agencies received grades in the “B” and “C” range.

The committee’s semi-annual scorecard grades the 24 Federal CFO Act agencies for their performance in several IT-related categories. Scores are compiled by the committee with help from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The latest scorecard features seven grading categories – down from eight categories on the December 2021 scorecard due to the sunsetting of the DCOI category. The seven active grading categories on the new scorecard are: 1) progress in transitioning to the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions (EIS) communications services contract; 2) CIO authority enhancements; 3) transparency and risk management; 4) portfolio review; 5) Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act; 6) cybersecurity; and 7) whether the CIO reports to the agency head or deputy.

By the Letters

Here’s a quick look at the gainers, the decliners, and everyone in between on the 14th installment of the FITARA Scorecard. As always, the easiest way to make sense of the House Oversight committee’s multicolored scorecard is to view the results on MeriTalk’s FITARA Dashboard.

One Agency Improved

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) earned a “B” grade on the latest scorecard, up from a “C-” on the previous version, and helped by better grades in the CIO Authority Enhancements and Portfolio Review Savings categories.

Eight Agencies Declined

A total of eight agencies saw lower grades on the latest scorecard, with each of them recording full-letter grade declines:

  • Department of Commerce (DoC) fell to “C+” from “B+”;
  • DoD declined to “D+” from “C+”;
  • Homeland Security Department (DHS) dipped to “C” from “B”;
  • DoT fell to “D+” from “C+”;
  • Treasury Department dropped to “C” from “B”;
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) slipped to “C+” from “B+”;
  • National Science Foundation (NSF) declined to “B+” from “A+”; and
  • Office of Personnel Management (OPM) fell to “C+” from “B+”.

15 Agencies Hung Steady

The remaining 15 agencies maintained the same grades on the latest scorecard, compared to the December 2021 version:

  • Agriculture Department (USDA), with a “C+”;
  • Education Department with a “B+”;
  • Energy Department with a “C+”;
  • Health and Human Services Department (HHS) with a “B”;
  • Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) with a “C+”;
  • Interior Department with a “C+”;
  • Justice Department (DoJ) with a “C-”;
  • Labor Department (DoL) with a “B-”;
  • State Department with a “B”;
  • Veterans Affairs Department (VA) with a “C+”;
  • General Services Administration (GSA) with a “B+”;
  • NASA with a “C+”;
  • Small Business Administration (SBA) with a “C+”;
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) with a “C+”; and
  • USAID with an “A.”
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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.