MGTA Becomes Law

The government’s aging technology infrastructure could get much-needed help in upgrading its systems, thanks to the Modernizing Government Technology Act, which President Trump signed last week as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The MGT Act creates a $500 million fund over the course of two years to be used for modernizing legacy IT systems. The US government currently spends about $80 billion a year on IT, the bulk of which goes to maintain legacy systems.

The MGT would allow CIOs to take any savings from IT purchases and place them in a 3-year fund for further IT investment.

Rep. William Hurd, one of the sponsors of the bill, said, “Every year, the federal government wastes billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars maintaining outdated, unreliable and unsecured IT systems – some of which were first designed in the 1960’s.”

At the September Billington CyberSecurity Summit, Rep. Hurd said, “Federal CIOs need to have the flexibility to purchase the IT goods and services they need in order to defend our digital infrastructure and to be more efficient.”  He called the current “use it or lose it” requirements for purchasing IT goods and services “insane.”

The MGT would allow CIOs to take any savings from IT purchases and place them in a 3-year fund for further IT investment. View Rep. Hurd’s summit keynote here.

The Office of Management and Budget, which will review and approve which projects receive funding under MGT, gave some insight into what it considers priorities released last week on federal IT Modernization.  (See related story below.)

President Trump’s FY 2018 budget proposes placing a portion of the Federal Government’s $95.7 billion in annual IT spending into a central Technology Modernization Fund designed to improve the management and oversight of Federal IT modernization projects. The Technology Modernization Fund will be dedicated to transitioning Federal agencies from IT infrastructure, systems, and services that are not cost-effective or secure to more efficient and secure technologies.