Outdated IT systems have plagued government for decades
WASHINGTON, DC – Defying what many thought impossible, U.S. Representative Will Hurd’s (R-TX) smart government plan to revolutionize federal IT is now on its way to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act allows federal agencies to cut wasteful spendingaand bolster information security by transitioning their IT systems toward more modern platforms like cloud computing. Hurd’s bipartisan bill is the biggest IT Reform package in decades and was approved in the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) after Hurd’s two-year effort. It is his twelfth piece of legislation to become law.
“The fact that our federal government continues to waste billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars each year maintaining outdated, legacy IT systems is absolutely outrageous. It’s 2017. The American people deserve better from their government,” said Hurd, who has tirelessly championed modernization efforts in Congress and represents the growing tech and cybersecurity sector of San Antonio. “Our federal agencies will finally have the motivation to catch up with the 21st Century and embrace emerging technologies so that we can leave behind these antiquated legacy IT systems that have plagued our government for decades. Instead, we can look forward to providing more efficient, transparent services for the American people and safeguard our systems from cyberattacks. I applaud my colleagues in the House and Senate for working to get MGT across the finish line.”
The MGT Act incentivizes federal agencies to embrace using 21st Century technologies and streamline spending through a working capital fund, composed of savings earned by doing things like reforming IT acquisition, updating IT systems, replacing legacy products, and transitioning to cloud computing, that can be used for further IT updates.
“It comes as no surprise to anyone that has had to interact with federal agencies that our government’s technology is stuck in the past. These antiquated systems also leave public and personal data of Americans at a great risk to be compromised by hackers. Unfortunately, identifying and implementing solutions to these challenges has proven difficult for policymakers,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). “Will Hurd has used his expertise and passion to lead the House in policy reforms that bring the federal government into the 21st century. Today’s vote on the National Defense Authorization Act – which includes MGT – brings the federal government one step closer to better serving and protecting our citizens.”
“This bipartisan legislation will propel our inefficient, outdated federal IT systems into the 21st century to promote productivity and strengthen cybersecurity,” said U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), who co-sponsored the MGT Act in the Senate with U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM). “Passing the landmark MGT Act will modernize our federal IT infrastructure and position federal agencies to expeditiously upgrade their systems – with strong built-in oversight by Congress – to continuously evolve and protect against cybersecurity threats at home and around the globe. In addition, nearly 75 percent of the $80 billion we are spending annually on federal IT systems is going toward maintaining and operating legacy IT rather than making lasting improvements. These improved efficiencies will end that practice and ultimately save billions of taxpayer dollars by reducing long-term spending. I’m pleased my colleagues on both sides of the aisle agree that IT investment reforms are an important step toward a more efficient, effective and secure government.”
“Passage of the bipartisan MGT Act will save taxpayers many millions of dollars and strengthen our cybersecurity,” said U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM). “This major legislation will finally bring the federal government’s grossly outdated IT systems into the 21st century. As it stands, the federal government spends over $80 billion on IT – but 75 percent of that money is being spent to maintain old and legacy systems that date back to the time of dial-up modems and dot-matrix printers. The oldest were created in the 1950s. The MGT Act’s flexible funding options will allow us to break out of that cycle, enabling federal agencies to move forward with long-overdue projects to replace these legacy systems, providing better services at lower cost. These upgrades will also enable federal agencies to tackle dangerous cyber vulnerabilities and better protect Americans’ data from cyberattacks. This bipartisan, common-sense effort will help ensure that we’re getting better service at a better value for the American people.”
“With the passage of the bipartisan Modernizing Government Technology Act, the federal government has taken a big first step toward upgrading our outdated technology infrastructure to increase our cyber-defenses and save taxpayer dollars,” said U.S. Representative Robin Kelly (D-IL), ranking member of the IT Subcommittee. “This bill is long overdue. It’s 2017, it’s time to bring the next generation of technology and innovation to government IT to save costs, protect our citizens personal information and enhance our security.”
“The current patchwork of outdated, legacy IT systems is simply unsustainable in the current cyber climate,” said U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA). “This is an important step to making the MGT Act a reality. By leveraging the savings created by FITARA, our legislation will help transition federal IT procurement towards 21st century technologies.”
“Given the scale and the urgency of replacing vulnerable and outdated federal IT systems, the Professional Services Council (PSC) readily welcomes passage of the MGT Act and the progress it will make toward vital IT modernization. This legislation will improve agencies’ access to innovation, bolster cybersecurity, and help government deliver better services at better value to all Americans,” said Alan Chvotkin, Executive Vice President and Counsel of PSC. “We appreciate the leadership and hard work of Reps. Hurd and Connolly, and Sens. Moran and Udall, to secure the MGT Act’s approval. We urge Congress to follow its action today by including funding for the MGT Act to jumpstart critical investments in the government’s technology infrastructure in fiscal year 2018.”
“The MGT Act is a prime example of bipartisan and innovative legislation that will benefit Americans across the country,” said Trey Hodgkins, Senior Vice President for the Public Sector of the IT Alliance for the Public Sector. “For the first time, our federal government will have funding to not only maintain its outdated technology but also infuse it with cutting-edge technologies that will protect Americans’ sensitive personal information and strengthen our nation’s cybersecurity in a cost-efficient way. We thank Representative Hurd and his colleagues for their leadership and dedication to this crucial legislation.”