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By Nick Wakeman

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FITARA architect Darrell Issa plans House departure

One of the architects of the 2015 Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act is calling it a career.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election this fall to join a growing number of Republicans leaving Congress.

While not as well-known as some of his more headline-grabbing initiatives, Issa used his position as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to push through FITARA in an effort to reform federal IT spending.

He did it with a Democrat in Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).

“We found common ground on the whole issue of IT in the federal government, and I think the bill produced a visionary product that provides a framework for a couple of decades,” Connelly told WT sibling publication FCW.com.

Issa pushed through FITARA during his 2011-2015 tenure as chair of the oversight committee. But also during that time, he pushed a more partisan agenda such as investigations into the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative Tea Party groups, the attack on the U.S. compound at Benghazi and the infamous "Fast and Furious" plan at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives to trace illegal gun sales from the U.S. to drug cartels in Mexico.

In addition to his work on FITARA, Issa also will be remembered for being the lead House sponsor of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act that requires agencies to report spending in machine-readable formats. Both the DATA Act and FITARA both passed in 2015.

Connelly told FCW that his work with Issa on FITARA was an “unexpected collaboration.”

“That’s the kind of serious legislating we could have done a lot more of,” he said.

For more Issa’s decision and his legacy, see FCW.com.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Jan 10, 2018 at 11:28 AM


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