Hoyer Testimony Before House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations on TMF | #microsoft | #hacking | #cybersecurity


Hoyer Testimony Before House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations on TMF | The Office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer

Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – This morning, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) testified before the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, during their hearing titled Technology Modernization Fund: Rewriting Our IT Legacy. The hearing focused on the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) and the progress that the TMF has made in incentivizing federal agencies to invest in modern information technology systems and improve their service to the American public. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video:
 

Click here to watch the video.

“Thank you, Chairman Connolly, for convening this hearing, and thank you to Ranking Member [Biggs] as well for the opportunity to testify today.
 
“Five years ago, Democrats and Republicans came together to enact the Modernizing Government Technology Act. That legislation included a bill I had introduced and worked on with then-President Obama that first proposed the Technology Modernization Fund. It was a model from the private sector, from then-Federal Chief Information Officer Tony Scott, who had used it successfully at Microsoft. It represented a new way to create urgency, expertise, and funding to modernize federal technology.
 
“Republicans were in the majority then, and I commend them for working with me, with the late Chairman Elijah Cummings, with Chairman Connolly, with Reps. Robin Kelly and Ro Khanna, and with other Democrats to get it done. We worked closely with Leader McCarthy, with former Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Will Hurd, and with other Republicans. 
 
“That’s how Congress ought to be: both parties working together to get things done. We all recognized the importance of upgrading outdated technology systems across the federal government. We understood that federal agencies cannot effectively serve the American people using twentieth-century technology.
Such systems are costly, break down often, and are more vulnerable to cyber threats from Russia and from other adversaries. This is not just an issue of efficiency and providing citizens with user-friendly online experiences with federal agencies; it’s also a matter of national security and citizens’ privacy.
 
“The Technology Modernization Fund that our legislation authorized was designed to be effective at funding big, systemic upgrades – not just small fixes. Now, five years later, that fund is up and running, capitalized with more than $1 billion that is already being put to use for the purpose it was intended. The fund has already supported twenty-three projects at fourteen different federal agencies.
 
“These include upgrading the technology at the Southwest border, rolling out zero-trust cyber-security at numerous agencies, migrating numerous systems to the “cloud,” and digitalizing veterans’ records. However, sixty agencies have applied with proposals for 130 projects, which would require more than $2.5 billion in funding. We cannot afford to ignore this need for greater cybersecurity, greater efficiency, and greater ability to deliver For The People.
 
“I appreciate that this subcommittee remains focused on addressing the technology-modernization needs of our government. As you look today at the work of the Technology Modernization Fund, I hope you will ask two critical questions.
 
“First, how can we improve on its work through oversight, guidance, and – perhaps – targeted reforms that could help the fund be as effective and successful as possible. And second, how can we ensure that it has the capitalization it requires to fulfill its mission of upgrading critical systems across our whole government and not just a handful of agencies.
  When we first proposed the fund in 2016, then-Federal C.I.O. Tony Scott told us that he thought it needed at least $3 billion to upgrade the most critical systems across government. At that level he was confident it could recoup significant future cost savings and then revolve to continue supporting modernization projects across the federal government.
 
“That may sound like a lot of money, and it is. For context, though, the federal government is estimated to spend roughly $90 billion per year on technology. Much of that, however, is spent maintaining the status quo, which isn’t working and isn’t secure. We were fortunate to get $1 billion for the fund in the American Rescue Plan, but much of that is being spent without repayment requirements. While that is appropriate in emergency situations like a global pandemic, it leaves the fund significantly below its intended capitalization. 
 
“I hope we can explore ways to capitalize the fund fully, as intended, through annual appropriations and possibly future direct appropriations – like we did in the American Rescue Plan – or potentially new funding models like agency contributions for shared services.
I look forward to hearing the testimony of the witnesses here today, especially T.M.F. Executive Director Raylene Yung from the General Services Administration.
 
“I want to thank G.S.A. Administrator Robin Carnahan for her stewardship of the T.M.F. over this past year of growth.  I hope this subcommittee will continue to shine a light and keep a watchful eye on the critical work of the fund and join the chorus of voices urging an increase in its capitalization in Fiscal Year 2023 and beyond.
Thank you.”



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