Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he was warming up to the idea of the fund, but wants assurances that the money will be spent wisely and receive a return on investment.
Federal CIO Tony Scott said new data from government contractors shows billions of dollars are going to maintain hardware and software that either is no longer supported by the manufacturer or will no longer be supported in the next three years.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing May 25 on legacy IT systems where Federal CIO Tony Scott will have maybe the administration’s best chance to make its case for Congress to support the IT Modernization Fund.
Both agencies are using different portfolio management approaches to better oversee and control spending on commodity technology.
Cybersecurity experts say the government needs to address gaps in its IT systems and workforce to strengthen its defenses against data breaches, threats that are now a part of everyday federal operations.
For too long, the budget and appropriations process hampered agencies and their ability to buy and modernize legacy IT systems, Federal CIO Tony Scott said. The Office of Management and Budget is submitting its proposal to Congress for a $3.1 billion IT modernization fund.
The White House sent its legislative proposal to Capitol Hill and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) plans on introducing legislation based on that proposal this week.
The Office of Management and Budget is developing an IT modernization policy for civilian agencies that would require them to do a majority of the up-front planning to prepare for the funding should Congress approve the initiative.
President Barack Obama is requesting $89.8 billion for federal IT in 2017, including $51.3 billion for civilian agencies and $38.5 billion for the Defense Department.
President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress for $19 billion for federal cybersecurity efforts in fiscal 2017. The White House wants to use some of the money to create a $3.1 billion IT modernization fund and provide more education to federal employees as part of a new cyber national action plan.