The Federal government spends $86 billion a year on outdated Information Technology procurement. With the Move IT Act of 2016, Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, wants to make a change.

Hurd announced the bill at Thursday’s Federal Forum on Delivering Next-Gen Threat Prevention in Washington, D.C. He said the bill would ensure that professionals across Federal agencies have up-to-date technologies. He also said that agencies will now be given an awareness of and access to the savings that modernization can offer them. Hurd cited an example of a recent hearing he attended in which two agencies realized they could save $2 billion by transitioning their data into the cloud.

“That’s real money. And that’s only two out of 24 CFO agencies,” Hurd said. “Let’s take those savings and put it into a working capital fund, and give them the availability to use that money over three years in order to modernize their IT systems.”

Hurd said the Move IT Act would give every agency the ability to set up these savings; the money will not be pooled into one central fund.

According to analysis of the bill by the Hettinger Strategy Group and Cyrrus Analytics, the new funding will be considered “three-year money” giving agencies the time to adopt new, modular, and agile development approaches. “The agencies will spend the money in accordance with OMB guidelines issued by Federal CIO Tony Scott. The legislation also provides for reprogramming authority for the funds to be re-deployed for new IT systems,” the analysis states.

The bill also includes significant reforms of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management program, known as FedRAMP. For example, the bill would require OMB and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to establish performance metrics for the FedRAMP process of authorizing cloud service providers to sell cloud services to federal agencies. It would also require OMB to submit a report to Congress on the effectiveness and efficiency of the FedRAMP program management office.

“We believe that if effectively implemented, the MOVE IT Act will significantly accelerate government transitions to new innovative platforms and in so doing will open up major new business opportunities for cloud and related technology companies,” states the analysis by the Hettinger Group and Cyrrus Analytics.

Although Hurd was initially reluctant to back a previous modernization bill, known as the Cloud IT Act. His goal now, however, is to spur modernization within the next year.

“We have to make sure we have the tools and the availability for our agencies to adapt and change and purchase the latest technology in order to keep our digital infrastructure safe,” Hurd said. “We have to constantly be on the edge. We have to constantly be evolving.”

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Eleanor Lamb
Eleanor Lamb
Eleanor Lamb is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Big Data, FITARA, Homeland Security, Education, Workforce Issues, and Civilian Agencies.