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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Bipartisan support might not be enough for Modernizing Goverment Tech Act

I’m not going to get too excited by the re-introduction today of the Modernizing Government Technology Act.

Not that I disagree with it. It’s just that it still has a long way to go before passage and becoming a law.

The MGT Act shifts savings from modernization efforts into a capital working fund that is capped at $500 million. That money will be used to fund more modernization efforts, improving cybersecurity and moving to the cloud.

The bill was re-introduced in the House by Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee; and Rep. Jerry Connolly (D-Va.), ranking member of the committee. On the Senate side, the bill is sponsored by Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.).

So the bill has bipartisan support but also had that when it passed the House last year and then never saw a Senate vote. And it had support earlier when it was known as the MOVE-IT Act.

There have been some tweaks this time around including some limits on the size and length of time of the modernization fund can be used. It is capped at two years, instead of being unlimited. If an agency borrows from the fund, it has five years to repay the fund from future savings.

Several industry groups and companies expressed support this afternoon after the bill was re-introduced.

With the Trump administration’s interest in making the government more efficient, the MGT Act might have a better shot this time around. But who thought we’d still have a continuing resolution in May when one party controls the White House and Congress.

So while it’s a good idea and should become law, you can’t discount the dangers of politics.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Apr 28, 2017 at 9:39 AM

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