Technical fix of MGT Act is major step to overhaul latest IT modernization challenges

“Jay Mahanan, USAID’s chief information officer, told members of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations during an April 16 hearing that despite support from the Trump administration and the Office of Management and Budget, it was unclear why the working capital fund request failed each year.

USAID isn’t alone. The departments of Education and Commerce also failed the appropriators’ gauntlet. So far, only the Small Business Administration persuaded lawmakers to give them the authority to set up a working capital fund and transfer unexpired funds into it. SBA says in its fiscal 2021 budget request it expects to have $4 million in 2020 and another $2 million in 2021 in the fund.

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), chairwoman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight, plans to fix this long-standing problem.

At the subcommittee’s April 27 hearing on legacy IT, Hassan said she plans to introduce a technical amendment to fix the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act, which initially authorized every agency to create an IT modernization working capital fund. Through the WCF, agencies can bank saved money, which then can be used for future IT modernization projects…”

“[Matthew Cornelius, the executive director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation, an industry association, and a former senior technology and cybersecurity advisor at OMB] said one thing Hassan should consider as the tries to fix the MGT Act is the need to convince the appropriators why the transfer authority is so important.

‘The main thing agencies need to do is to keep making the case to their appropriations subcommittees on what their IT modernization priorities are, how they would ensure appropriate oversight and execution of projects funded by an IT working capital fund, and to provide appropriations staff opportunities to provide their own recommendations,’ he said. ‘Building this trust is key to getting Congress to provide agencies the flexibility they need to manage their finances in a way that best help achieve their IT and security outcomes.’…” Read the full article here.

Source: Sen. Hassan’s technical fix of MGT Act is a major step to overhaul latest IT modernization challenges – By Jason Miller, May 3, 2021. Federal News Network.

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