Hoyer: MOVE IT Act ‘falls short’ of what’s needed for federal IT

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., called the Move IT Act 'meager.'

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The top House Democrat who introduced White House-backed legislation to create a revolving fund for modernizing federal IT says a similar bill introduced this week with bipartisan support does not go far enough.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the MOVE IT Act is not realistic given the amount of agency systems that need to be upgraded.

“The MOVE IT Act is unfunded and would only be a meager step toward modernizing our government technology, which is far short of what is urgently needed,” Hoyer said in a statement emailed to FedScoop. “My IT Modernization Act is the only proposal on the table that has a realistic chance of upgrading many of our most vulnerable and costly legacy systems in a short time frame. We must do that to prevent the next major OPM-like data hack, to lower our IT maintenance costs, and to lay the foundation for a 21st century digital government.”

[Read more: Lawmakers introduce alternative to White House’s modernization fund]

Introduced Thursday by Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, the MOVE IT Act would give agencies the authority to create a working capital fund that could be spent to modernize outdated technology they currently use. The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Ted Lieu, D-Calif.

Hoyer’s bill would set up a revolving $3.1 billion fund across the federal government that would be continually replenished by agencies as they realized savings from modernization.

Earlier this week, a number of companies and trade associations voiced their support for the IT Modernization Act, saying it will allow agencies to keep pace with private sector.

“We applaud Rep. Hoyer’s efforts and welcome and endorse the IT Modernization Act as an essential step in advancing modern, digital government for the 21st Century,” said ServiceNow Vice President of Federal Steve Alfieris. “The IT Modernization Fund provides critical resources to federal agencies in migrating from inefficient and poorly performing IT platforms to newer, more secure systems that reflect ‘cyber by design.’ ”

“This legislation, consistent with the Administration’s proposal released earlier this year, will help the Federal government take advantage of innovation to build a more secure and efficient IT infrastructure,” read a statement from BSA The Software Alliance. “We look forward to working with Congressman Hoyer and the other supporters of this bill as it moves through Congress.”

Despite the support, industry sources told FedScoop earlier this week that the IT modernization fund is “all but dead.”

Contact the reporter on this story via email at greg.otto@fedscoop.com, or follow him on Twitter at @gregotto. His OTR and PGP info can be found hereSubscribe to the Daily Scoop for stories like this in your inbox every morning by signing up here: fdscp.com/sign-me-on.

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Congress, Government IT News, IT Modernization Fund, Procurement, Steny Hoyer, Will Hurd
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