Coalition Letter - H.R. 6004, the "Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2016" | U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Coalition Letter - H.R. 6004, the "Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2016"

Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 11:00am

The Honorable Mitch McConnell 
Majority Leader
United States Senate 
Washington, DC 20510 

The Honorable Harry Reid
Democratic Leader
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Ron Johnson 
Chairman 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
United States Senate 
Washington, DC 20510 

The Honorable Tom Carper
Ranking Member
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Democratic Leader Reid, Chairman Johnson, and Ranking Member Carper:

Our organizations—the Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector (ITAPS), TechNet, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—write to urge the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to swiftly mark up or discharge H.R. 6004, the “Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2016,” or the “MGT Act,” so that it can be included in any must-pass legislation the Senate takes up during the closing days of this session.

Many parts of the federal government’s information technology (IT) infrastructure are woefully outdated. Obsolete technology systems are inefficient and especially susceptible to cyberattacks, which, among other challenges, puts citizens’ personal information at risk.

The bipartisan MGT Act would help the federal government creatively improve its information systems. The bill would authorize two competitive IT modernization funding streams to (1) improve, retire, or replace current technology systems; (2) accelerate the transition to cloud computing; and (3) procure IT products and services to strengthen the federal government’s cybersecurity posture.

Bolstering the federal government’s cybersecurity is important to policymakers and citizens. Agencies and departments should lead by example on improving U.S. cybersecurity.

Also, federal entities spend nearly 80% of their total IT budgets on maintaining aging, insecure, and expensive legacy systems. The MGT Act would facilitate the sound adoption of state-of the-art technologies, thus helping deliver new IT capabilities, operational efficiencies, and cost savings for the federal government and taxpayers.

The Senate should move the MGT Act without delay. The federal government would benefit significantly from this legislation. Technology officials need more flexible procurement programs to enable them to move beyond the IT status quo that agencies and departments are saddled with today.

Our organizations look forward to working with lawmakers and their staff to get the MGT Act enacted to bolster the federal government’s technological capacities and information security. Congressional action cannot come soon enough.

Sincerely,

Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector (ITAPS)
TechNet
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

cc: Members of the United States Senate