Diluted Freedom Act passes House to privacy advocates' dismay
Diluted Freedom Act passes House to privacy advocates' dismay

A bipartisan group of U.S. representatives from the House Information Technology Subcommittee has reintroduced the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act designed to modernize the federal IT infrastructure while eliminating wasteful spending.

Representatives Will Hurd (R-Texas), Gerry Connolly, D-Va., Robyn Kelly, D-Ill., along with Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., on April 28, it was originally brought up by Hurd in 2016, but failed to move forward. The bill remains essentially the same with its intention of updating systems in order to not only make the government's IT systems more efficient, but eliminate having to maintain aging equipment.

“The federal government spends $80 billion each year on IT systems and 80 percent of which is spent maintaining outdated, legacy systems.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,” Hurd said.

The cross-aisle cooperation is a strong indicator that Congress as a whole sees the need to boost IT spending and improve security.

“I am proud to join Representative Hurd in reintroducing this critical IT modernization legislation. 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,” Connolly said.

Rep. Kelly added that passing such a bill is long overdue and the government's current IT infrastructure is well passed its sell-by date. “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,” she said.

These elected officials were joined by industry trade, public service and corporate executives, all of whom praised the bill and hoped for its early adoption.

“Modernization needs to understand the significant benefits of shared management  of the underlying infrastructure to leverage expertise over time from vendors while also allowing the government IT professionals to focus on driving value to the missions they are undertaking. The solutions selected should include requirements for vendor security and vulnerability management practices." Art Gilliland, CEO of Skyport System, told SC Media.