Federal agencies rely on IT requiring extensive investments in both updating existing IT and developing new IT. GAO www.gao.gov reports that the federal government annually spends more than $80 billion for IT and more than 75 percent of this spending is on legacy IT.
In FY 2017, federal IT spending will be more than $89 billion. Unfortunately, these investments often incur multi-million dollar cost overruns and years of long schedule delays
The “Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2016 (MGT Act) (H.R. 6004) www.congress.gov introduced by Representative Will Hurd (R-TX) https://oversight.house.gov would establish an IT working capital fund for each federal government agency to improve, retire, or replace existing information technology systems. This is needed to improve efficiency and effectiveness to be able to transition data to cloud computing platforms.
The bill establishes a centralized Information Technology Modernization Fund (ITMF) and Board to loan agencies funds that would be repaid through the cost savings that agencies would achieve by using newer and more efficient technology. The ITMF would be administered by GSA.
In addition, agencies that receive this funding will be held accountable for meeting project milestones and be directed to use modern incremental software development techniques. The Board would evaluate proposals submitted by agencies for funding from the ITMF for IT modernization projects.
Aside from the use of technology involved, the needs of an education and informed workforce must be addressed. A hearing was held in the House Oversight and Government Reform’s Committee Subcommittee on Information Technology on September 22, 2016 to discuss closing the talent gap in Federal IT
Joan Ferrini-Mundy PhD, Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation (NSF)www.nsf.gov appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s Subcommittee on Information Technology. She emphasized how NSF is engaging, encouraging, and supporting a longer-term solution to the need for a larger and well prepared Federal and national IT workforce.