MGT Act Passes House

Published: May 18, 2017

Information TechnologyIT Reform

On Wednesday, the House passed the Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT Act, HR 2227) which is meant to offer a solution to updating and replacing federal legacy systems.

In late April, Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) chairman of the House Information Technology Subcommittee, re-introduced the MGT Act. The bill was originally introduced in September 2016 and subsequently passed the House, but stalled in the Senate.

Agencies struggle to modernize aging IT systems, spending upwards of 75% of their IT budgets on operations and maintenance, leaving little to no money for IT modernization efforts.

The Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act is bipartisan legislation that would establish working capital funds at each agency that they could draw on for IT modernization projects and pay back with savings in order to fund future projects.  The funds could be accessed for up to three years, unlike traditional appropriations that must be used in the same fiscal year. 

The bill would also establish a central IT modernization capital fund to be administered by GSA, where agencies could apply for funding and pay it back with savings. The centralized fund would total $500M, $250M in FY 2018 and $250M in FY 2019. 

CBO recently released its cost estimate of this legislation predicting that implementation would cost $500M from FY 2017-2022 period. CBO estimates that enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

Jerry Moran (R-KS), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Steve Daines (R-MT), introduced companion legislation in the Senate in April, but a vote before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has not yet been scheduled.