Federal IT Modernization Moves Through Congress

Rep. William Hurd, a prime mover behind legislation to fund federal government IT modernization, will speak at the 8th Annual Billington CyberSecurity Summit, Sept. 13, Washington, D.C.

Bipartisan legislation that establishes a central fund to support IT modernization and authorizes working capital funds at 24 large agencies passed the House of Representatives this spring in a voice vote and is now before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

The Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) bill has received a nod of approval from staff at the Office of American Innovation, which will recommend steps on modernizing the government technology. Reed Cordish and Chris Liddell, Assistants to the President and Members of The White House Office of American Innovation, issued the following statement when the bill was introduced:  This bill “will enable significant progress to be made towards creating a more effective, efficient, and accountable government for all Americans.”

The chief sponsor of the House bill, Rep. Will Hurd, R-TX., noted when he introduced the bill that the, “Federal government spends $80 billion each year on IT systems and 80 percent of which is spent maintaining outdated, legacy systems. Our government needs to be able to introduce cutting edge technology into their networks to improve operational efficiency and decrease operational cost. The MGT Act does just that.”

Rep. Hurd, who represents an emerging tech and cybersecurity sector in San Antonio, said, “A move towards modern technologies can keep our information and digital infrastructure secure from cyberattacks, while saving billions of taxpayer dollars. This legislation is an innovative solution and another step forward in strengthening our digital infrastructure.”

“The two funds will incentivize IT savings and reward cost-sensitive and responsible chief information officers. Under MGT, savings obtained by Federal agencies by doing things like streamlining IT systems, replacing legacy products, and transitioning to cloud computing can be placed in a working capital fund that can be accessed throughout the three years for further modernization efforts,” said Hurd.

This approach eliminates the traditional use-it or lose-it approach that has plagued government technology for decades. MGT can help the federal government address growing cyber threats and provide a more efficient product to the American people, Hurd’s office said.