Wednesday, the House of Representatives took a major step toward strengthening digital infrastructure by approving a bipartisan federal IT reform package.
The Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act, introduced by U.S. Representative Will Hurd, will reduce wasteful spending on outdated IT systems and enhance information security by accelerating the federal government’s transition to modern technology like cloud computing.
“As technology becomes more and more integrated into our lives – our institutions must keep pace. I’ve been fighting to get this bill signed into law because the American people deserve a government that is resilient and responsive to them,” said Hurd who has championed modernization efforts in Congress and represents an emerging tech and cybersecurity sector in San Antonio. “The MGT Act will enhance cybersecurity, increase government accountability and help government be more efficient in serving the American people.”
Identical bipartisan legislation has been introduced by Senators Gerald Moran (R-KS) and Tom Udall (D-NM) in the Senate, and is expected to move to the President’s desk in upcoming weeks.
“I applaud the House for moving so quickly to pass this common sense and bipartisan bill. The Modernizing Government Technology Act is the first major step toward upgrading our outdated IT infrastructure; a process that will make us safer, stronger and more secure,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL), ranking member of the IT Subcommittee. “This bill is the result of bipartisan cooperation and countless hours of hard work. I thank Whip Hoyer and Chairman Hurd for their leadership and thank my staff and the subcommittee staff for their sleepless nights and tireless effort on this bill. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to quickly pass this bill and begin implementing its important reforms. It’s 2017, it’s past time to cut costs, protect our citizens’ personal information and enhance cybersecurity by modernizing our technology.”
“I am pleased the MGT Act has once again passed the House and is now one step closer to becoming law,” said Congressman Gerald Connolly (D-VA). “The current patchwork of outdated, legacy IT systems is simply unsustainable in the current cyber climate. By leveraging the savings created by FITARA, our legislation will help transition federal IT procurement towards 21st century technologies.”
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) who started the Innovation Initiative in Congress said, “Will Hurd’s legislation – the Modernizing Government Technology Act – is the definition of what the Innovation Initiative is about – modernizing government so it works securely – cost-effectively – and the way the American people expect it to work.”
“Last week’s worldwide ransomware attack, which impacted hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries across the globe, reminds us just how critical bringing federal government IT into the 21st century is to keep Americans and our valuable data protected,” said Senator Gerald Moran (R-KS), chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security. “In addition to its national security improvements, this legislation would also save billions of taxpayer dollars in the long-term by reducing wasteful spending and making much-needed reforms to our procurement practices.”
“As we have seen just this week with the ‘WannaCry’ attack, global cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and pose a complex and serious threat to our national security. But the federal government continues to rely on grossly outdated IT systems that make us vulnerable to such damaging cyberattacks,” Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) said. “I welcome House passage of this bipartisan legislation, which will help federal agencies to retire old systems and invest in new and critical technologies. Maintaining old IT systems is a security risk and costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year. In the Senate, I’ll fight to pass this bill and see it signed into law, to ensure that our government is getting better service at a better value for American taxpayers.”
“The MGT Act is needed to break the cycle that traps the government in funding outdated IT systems that are a risk to our national security instead of investing in the new technologies it needs to ensure cybersecurity,” said Trey Hodgkins, Senior Vice President for Public Sector at the IT Alliance for Public Sector (ITAPS), a division of technology industry trade group ITI. “The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) favorable score confirms that the MGT Act can be an effective tool to incentivize federal government IT modernization without creating new burdens for the taxpayer. We hope the House’s strong bipartisan approval of the bill and the CBO score validating the MGT’s potential compels the Senate to pass this important national security measure.”
“Federal agencies now spend a disproportionate share of their IT budgets simply to maintain inefficient and costly legacy systems that are decades behind modern technologies in terms of capabilities and network security,” said Professional Services Council (PSC) President & CEO David Berteau. “The MGT Act will make a critical investment in modernizing the government’s IT infrastructure to help limit cybersecurity vulnerabilities inherent in current computer systems and increase the effectiveness of government services and missions.”
“Ensuring that our government has the most up-to-date technology is a top priority for Dell and we congratulate Rep. Hurd on passage of theModernizing Government Technology Act,” said Steve Harris, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Dell EMC Federal. “As the world continues to change at an unprecedented pace, the federal government must have modern IT systems that can adapt to better serve their constituents. We look forward to working Rep. Hurd and the 115th Congress to ensure passage of this critical piece of legislation.”