The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved by voice vote today several tech-related legislative measures including S. 4200, which would direct the General Services Administration (GSA) to establish an IT modernization Center of Excellence (CoE) program that would facilitate adoption of modern technology by executive branch agencies.

The legislation would add to GSA’s existing line-up of CoEs that includes AI, Cloud Adoption, Contact Center, Customer Experience, Data and Analytics, and Infrastructure Optimization.

The proposed new IT modernization CoE would aim to, according to the bill’s language:

  • Modernize agency IT “and how a customer interacts with an executive agency”;
  • “Improve cooperation between commercial and executive agency information technology sectors”;
  • Encourage government purchase of commercial products;
  • Assist agencies in planning and adopting technology in areas that may include commercial cloud computing systems, artificial intelligence, and security and governance frameworks based on industry and government best practices.

Also by voice vote today, the committee approved S. 3455, which would prohibit Federal government employees from using the TikTok social media app on government-issued devices, with exceptions including conducting cybersecurity research.

Sponsors of the bill introduced in March cited their concerns about the company that provides the service – ByteDance – and said its close ties to the Chinese government could compel it to share user data with the government.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.