WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5) introduced a proposal sent to Congress last week by the White House for an Information Technology Modernization Fund (ITMF), an innovative new way to upgrade and modernize government technology and significantly strengthen cybersecurity. Text of the legislation can be found here and a section-by-section summary can be found here. United States Chief Information Officer Tony Scott’s announcement can be found here.

“The legislation I introduced today is a major step toward transforming the way our government invests in upgrading its infrastructure to serve the American people more effectively and to keep their private information safe,” said Congressman Hoyer.

“Over the past several years, I’ve made it a priority to make sure that Congress and the Administration have access to the latest, most innovative technology in order to make our government more transparent, more efficient in providing essential services, and more responsive to the people we serve,” Congressman Hoyer continued. “This bill will rapidly upgrade our federal IT systems that are most in need of upgrading, either from being cybersecurity risks, inefficient, or costly to maintain. It will implement the upgrades using the latest best practices from our innovation economy in Silicon Valley and all across our country. The new upgrades will enable agencies to create new user-friendly apps and services, and will allow agencies to share data to root out fraud and abuse. The ITMF model has a proven track record in the private sector of reducing long-term costs, and I hope Democrats and Republicans can work together to advance this legislation in the weeks ahead.”

The ITMF is a novel proposal for the government, though it is one that has an already established track record of success in the private sector when it comes to modernizing services, increasing cybersecurity, and bringing costs down over the long-term.  The bill authorizes a one-time investment of $3.1 billion into a revolving fund to be overseen by an independent review board, which will examine proposals submitted by agencies and select the highest-impact, highest-priority upgrade projects to receive funding.  The fund will then upgrade selected systems in a focused, rapid manner.

The ITMF will be self-sustaining. Once an agency has completed its technology upgrade, it will repay its funding amount back to the ITMF over time using savings achieved from making its technology system more efficient.  As a result, the $3.1 billion in initial seed funding is expected to address at least $12 billion in projects over the first ten years and will continue beyond that point into the future in a self-sustaining way.  Furthermore, experts at GSA, including the 18F group that is comprised of technologists who use the latest best practices of Silicon Valley,  will ensure that all projects in the ITMF make use of those best practices, including shared services, cloud hosting, and agile development.