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BREAKING: Hurd's MGT Act Will Transform Government IT

April 28, 2017
Press Release
Bill expected to save billions

U.S. Representative Will Hurd (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Information Technology Subcommittee, introduced the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act today with fellow Subcommittee members and thought-leaders from across the aisle Reps. Robin Kelly (D-Illinois) and Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia). This bipartisan federal IT reform package 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“The federal government spends $80 billion each year on IT systems and 80 percent of which is spent maintaining outdated, legacy systems. Our government needs to be able to introduce cutting edge technology into their networks to improve operational efficiency and decrease operational cost. The MGT Act does just that,” said Rep. Hurd who has tirelessly championed technology updates in Congress and represents an emerging tech and cybersecurity sector in San Antonio. “We’ve been fighting to get this bill signed into law because the American people deserve better from their government. A move towards modern technologies can keep our information and digital infrastructure secure from cyberattacks, while saving billions of taxpayer dollars. This legislation is an innovative solution and another step forward in strengthening our digital infrastructure.”

Under MGT, savings obtained by federal agencies, by doing things like streamlining IT systems, replacing legacy products and transitioning to cloud computing, can be placed in a working capital fund that can be accessed for up to three years for further modernization efforts. This approach eliminates the traditional use-it or lose-it approach that has plagued government technology for decades. MGT can help the federal government address growing cyber threats and provide a more efficient product to 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“The bipartisan Modernizing Government Technology Act is a first step toward common sense solutions that upgrade our outdated technology infrastructure to make us safer, stronger and more secure,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly, ranking member of the IT Subcommittee.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 security.”

“I am proud to join Representative Hurd in reintroducing this critical IT modernization legislation. We are also pleased to have the support of Representative Kelly and Senators Udall and Moran. The MGT II Act builds on the success of the bipartisan Federal IT Acquisition and Reform Act and ensures the savings and efficiencies created by FITARA provide the investment needed for agencies to transition to the cloud,” said U.S. Representative Gerald Connolly (D-VA). 

“We were pleased to see continued support for this bill from both industry and the executive branch. Moving forward with MGT II, we hope that the Administration will join Congress in making long overdue investments in federal IT and modernization efforts,” Connolly added.

“As our lives race further into the digital age the information systems that command how government serves the people are stuck in the past. Will Hurd’s legislation restructures the governments’ flawed approach to IT and could set off a new era of constituent-first government service. This legislation is fundamental to the efforts of the Innovation Initiative to modernize government and I will schedule it for floor consideration as soon as it advances from the Oversight and Government Reform Committee,” said Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“In the 10 months since we first introduced legislation, Americans have come to understand firsthand the importance of cybersecurity. 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,” said U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) who is co-introducing companion legislation in the Senate with Senator Tom Udall (D-NM).

"Information technology is growing rapidly and while the United States is a world leader in this technology, our federal government's IT tools remain severely outdated," Senator Udall said. "Maintaining our old IT systems ends up costing the taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Our bipartisan legislation will curb this wasted taxpayer money by helping federal agencies retire the old systems and invest in new cloud computing and other critical technologies. This bill will ensure our government is getting  better service at a better value for the American taxpayers."

Reed Cordish and Chris Liddell, Assistants to the President and Members of The White House Office of American Innovation, issued the following statement: "We are excited about today's introduction of the Modernizing Government Technology Act; this important bipartisan work, led by Rep. Will Hurd and Rep. Steny Hoyer, will enable significant progress to be made towards creating a more effective, efficient, and accountable government for all Americans."

"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," said Trey Hodgkins, Senior Vice President for Public Sector at the IT Alliance for Public Sector, a division of tech trade group ITI. "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," said IT Alliance for the Public Sector (ITAPS) Senior Vice President Trey Hodgkins.

“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,” said David Berteau, President & CEO of PSC. “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.”

“Ensuring that our government has the most up-to-date technology is a top priority for Dell and we applaud Rep. Hurd for introducing the Modernizing 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.”