US chief information officer ups push to modernize government tech

US chief information officer ups push to modernize government tech

The United States chief information officer on Thursday boosted his push for Congress to approve $3 billion in loans to modernize government technology.

Tony Scott emphasized the importance of a government-wide shift from obsolete technologies to more secure, cheaper, modern options, calling for the creation of the Information Technology Modernization Fund (ITMF).

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“Nobody at this point is debating if this is needed,” Scott said at FedScoop’s Lowering The Cost of Government with IT Summit.

The ITMF, currently under debate in Congress, would provide $3.1 billion in loans for agencies to update technology. The money would be repaid through the cost savings of using the more efficient technologies.

Agencies, like businesses, often put off sweeping updates to their IT because the cost of maintaining a legacy system is cheaper in the short term than the cost of upgrading.

Scott hopes the fund will be a component of this year’s budget season. 

The ITMF was introduced to the House by Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in April. A sibling bill Scott hopes will complement it — the MOVE IT Act — was introduced last month by Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas).