A bill to create avenues for agencies to modernize their IT systems passed the House in a floor vote Wednesday.
The Hurd-Connolly Modernizing Government Technology Act maintains that current aging government technology is not only expensive and inefficient, but also poses a serious security risk.
“The Federal Government spends nearly 75 percent of its annual information technology funding on operating and maintaining existing legacy information technology systems,” read the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act of 2017.
“These systems can pose operational risks, including rising costs and inability to meet mission requirements. These systems also pose security risks, including the inability to use current security best practices, such as data encryption and multi-factor authentication, making these systems particularly vulnerable to malicious cyber activity.”
“I am pleased the MGT Act has once again passed the House and is now one step closer to becoming law,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va, a coauthor of the MGT Act. “The current patchwork of outdated, legacy IT systems is simply unsustainable in the current cyber climate. By leveraging the savings created by [the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act], our legislation will help transition federal IT procurement towards 21st-century technologies.”
Under the MGT Act, savings from IT modernization, including FITARA implementation, would be placed into a working capital fund that can be accessed for up to two years for additional modernization efforts. This approach eliminates the traditional use-it or lose-it approach that has plagued government technology for decades. The MGT Act will help agencies move to the cloud, improve cybersecurity and realize additional efficiencies.