Modernization Homerun: MGT Centralized Fund Gets $100M in Omnibus Spending Bill

Opening day for the Nationals might be a week away, but four Beltway insiders have already knocked one out of the park.

The latest omnibus spending bill, which President Trump signed into law Friday afternoon, includes $100 million for the MGT Act’s centralized revolving capital fund. President Trump signed the MGT Act into law late last year as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

The MGT Act was a bipartisan effort with Reps. Will Hurd, R-Texas, and Gerry Connolly, D-Va., leading the charge in the House and Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, and Tom Udall, D-N.M., spearheading efforts in the Senate.

“After the last two years of falling victim to multiple cyberattacks, it’s time for the United States government to secure its digital information and infrastructure, and move government into the 21st century,” said Hurd. “Securing funding for the MGT Act in the FY18 omnibus is reflective of the overwhelming bipartisan support the bill received in both Chambers of Congress throughout the multi-year initiative to make this a reality.”

While the $100 million authorized in the bill falls short of the $500 million initially requested, the backers of the legislation are still celebrating.

“As we continue our work to eliminate waste in our Federal government, the MGT Act will bring welcome change to our information technology systems, eliminating unnecessary spending in addition to strengthening our nation’s cybersecurity practices,” said Moran. “A startling 75 percent of the $80 billion our Federal government spends annually on IT is used to fix and maintain archaic systems. The MGT Act will incentivize Federal agencies to upgrade their systems through the establishment of IT working capital funds that reward agencies for making security improvements and transitioning to cloud computing, rather than spending money maintaining outdated legacy systems. The inclusion of the funding for MGT Act in the omnibus will further implement this legislation and help bring our Federal agencies into the 21st century.”

The centralized revolving capital fund will be run within the Department of the Treasury and administered by the head of the General Services Administration. Agencies can borrow money from the fund to modernize their aging systems. In addition to the centralized fund, the MGT also creates IT working capital funds at 24 Federal agencies. Agencies can use the working capital funds to allocate savings created by first-round modernization projects for use in future projects.

Baseball season might be a week away, but looks like D.C. already has a reason to celebrate.

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