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BREAKING: Hurd’s Landmark IT Overhaul Approved by Senate

September 18, 2017
Press Release
Major reform modernizes federal government & IT sector

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representative Will Hurd’s (R-TX) long-anticipated Smart Government reform package was approved in the Senate as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Hurd’s bipartisan bill, the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act, is designed to reduce wasteful IT spending and strengthen information security by accelerating the federal government’s transition to modern technology like cloud computing.

“The amount of money that our federal government spends on antiquated technology is mindboggling. Outdated technology policies and poor cybersecurity hygiene have riddled government agencies for decades, leaving our digital information vulnerable to hacks and costing taxpayers billions,” said Hurd, who serves as Chairman of the House Information Technology Subcommittee and has tirelessly championed technology updates in Congress. “By incentivizing the transition to modern technology, we will allow the government to harness cutting-edge technologies, use each dollar more efficiently, strengthen our digital infrastructure and improve government services for everyone. I thank my colleagues in both the House and Senate for working together to get the MGT Act one step closer to the finish line.”

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated, “Senate passage of the Modernizing Government Technology Act is a major step forward in our goal of creating a more cost-efficient and digitally secure federal government. By leveraging new technologies, we will save taxpayers money and deliver a well-overdue update to our nation’s IT systems. Representative Will Hurd has been relentless in his work on this innovative policy solution that will benefit all Americans.”

The MGT Act incentivizes the federal government to streamline their IT systems through a working capital fund, which is composed of the savings federal agencies earn when they update their technology by do things like streamlining IT systems, replacing legacy products and transitioning to cloud computing. This approach encourages modernization efforts and eliminates the traditional use-it or lose-it approach that has hindered our federal government for decades.

Hurd’s legislation was passed in the House in May and is supported by the White House Office of American Innovation and industry leaders. In April, U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Tom Udall (D-NM) introduced the Senate companion legislation, S. 990.

“In light of the numerous data security issues that continue to threaten our federal government and American businesses, I’m pleased the Senate acted to prioritize the modernization of our alarmingly outdated federal IT systems,” said U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). “The MGT Act is a critical step toward bringing our federal IT systems into the 21st century. The improved efficiencies included in the legislation will strengthen our cybersecurity capabilities and reduce long-term wasteful spending.”

“The MGT Act is a perfect example of what we can accomplish when we seek common-sense solutions in a bipartisan way,” said U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM). “This major legislation to modernize the federal government’s grossly outdated IT systems will strengthen our national security and save taxpayers millions. The federal government currently spends over $80 billion on IT, but 75 percent of that money goes to maintaining old and out of date legacy systems. With the MGT Act’s flexible funding options, we can break that cycle and bring the federal government into the modern era— tackling dangerous cyber vulnerabilities and protecting the American people from increasingly severe cyberattacks, and empowering agencies to move forward with long-overdue projects to streamline how the federal government operates. I thank Senator Moran and Representative Hurd, and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the House and the Senate for their tireless work to ensure the government is getting better service at a better value for the American people.”

“The bipartisan Modernizing Government Technology Act is a first step toward common sense solutions that upgrade our outdated technology infrastructure to make us safer, stronger and more secure,” said Congresswoman 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.”

“Modernizing the federal government isn’t a partisan issue, as we have seen in the adoption of FITARA and now with our work on the MGT Act. By leveraging the savings realized by FITARA, the MGT Act will help bring our aging federal IT into the 21st century. I am pleased that today’s action brings us one step closer to making the MGT Act a reality,” said U.S. Representative Gerald Connolly (D-VA).

"PSC applauds the Senate’s action approving the MGT Act and the progress toward vital IT modernization,” said Alan Chvotkin, Executive Vice President and Counsel of PSC, the voice of the government technology and professional services industry. “The Senate’s actions take us closer to enactment, which will provide a dedicated funding stream for federal agencies to harness new technologies, reduce government costs and vulnerabilities, and improve efficiency and performance. We look forward to enactment of the MGT Act by Congress."

“Ensuring that our government has the most up-to-date technology is a top priority for Dell, and we applaud Rep. Hurd for his continued efforts to advance the MGT Act through Congress,” said Steve Harris, Senior Vice President of 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 appreciate the Senate’s recognition of this need by including the MGT Act in the 2018 NDAA.”

Trey Hodgkins, Senior Vice President for the Public Sector at the Information Technology Industry Council, added, “By passing the MGT Act, the Senate took an important step in updating our archaic government technology that currently leaves us vulnerable to cyberattacks. Couple that with the fact that we spend the majority of our $80 billion IT budget to maintain legacy systems, this bill is a win for taxpayers’ wallets while also protecting their information. We thank the Senators for passing this bill and look forward to continuing to work with the House to get this bill to the president’s desk.”