Legislation Would Accelerate Adoption of Cloud Computing by Federal Agencies
Apr 28 2017
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) – both members of the Senate Commerce and Appropriations Committees – today introduced the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act (S. 990/H.R. 2227). This bipartisan, bicameral legislation is designed to reduce wasteful IT spending and strengthen information security by accelerating the federal government’s transition to modern technology like cloud computing.
“In the 10 months since we first introduced legislation, Americans have come to understand firsthand the importance of cybersecurity,” Sen. Moran said. “Meanwhile, federal government data and critical infrastructure are currently compromised by outdated IT systems incapable of supporting best practices to help safeguard sensitive information. Bringing the government’s aging IT systems into the 21st century would not only shore up our cybersecurity, but also save billions of taxpayer dollars through reductions in wasteful spending for years to come. The IT investment reforms included in this legislation are an important step toward a more efficient, effective and secure government.”
Each year, the federal government spends more than $80 billion on information technology (IT), most of which used to maintain outdated systems rather than investing in new technologies. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that many of the government’s IT systems and components are increasingly obsolete and, in some cases, at least 50 years old. Such “legacy” IT systems often use old software languages and unsupported hardware.
Cloud computing and other modern IT solutions can often offer faster processing time, more flexibility and greater efficiency than older systems. Yet cloud computing adoption by the federal government is hampered by traditional federal acquisition approaches and bottlenecks for commercial providers seeking to be certified as compliant with federal cybersecurity standards.
IT Alliance for the Public Sector (ITAPS) Senior Vice President Trey Hodgkins praised the bill, "Incidents like the OPM breach underscore why the federal government needs to invest in modernizing outdated technology, but it cannot, because it is trapped in a funding cycle where it spends $60 billion dollars just to sustain the systems that it has. The MGT Act will help federal agencies adopt new technologies like cloud computing, other innovative technologies and strengthen their cybersecurity. We hope the strong bipartisan backing behind this bill compels Congress to act swiftly and send this legislation to the president to sign into law and boost our national security."
“The Professional Services Council (PSC) would like to thank Senators Moran and Udall, Chairman Hurd and Ranking Member Connolly for their continued leadership to advance policies that will upgrade the government’s legacy IT systems,” David Berteau, President & CEO of PSC added. “PSC supports the Modernizing Government Technology Act because we believe the bill will help make government more effective and its networks more secure, while reducing overall costs.”
U.S. Representatives Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) – chairman and member, respectively, of the House Subcommittee on Information Technology – introduced the House companion legislation.
Click here to read the bill.
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