President Trump’s comment recently that it might be a “great idea” to have a “Space Force” may have seemed like an off-hand comment at the time, but it fanned the embers of what has been an ongoing and contentious debate between Congress and the Pentagon over whether a separate military force to operate in space like the Army on land, the Navy at sea, or the Air Force in the air is needed or would even be beneficial. […]

The Trump Administration proposes spending nearly $45.8 billion on IT investments at major civilian agencies next year, a slight rise from the $45.6 billion in fiscal 2018, according to the 2019 budget proposal released Monday.






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We see lots of moves to IT modernization in motion–but how does it all come together? The White House wants to tie those into a broader program, creating a new ecosystem to fuel government-wide modernization efforts.






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The MGT Act became the law of the land on Dec. 21, when President Trump signed it into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This is the much-vaunted revolving capital fund–cut out of the original FITARA bill in committee–that establishes a central bucket of money at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), managed by the General Services Administration (GSA), for Feds to modernize legacy IT systems.






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Congress wants the Defense Department (DoD) to elaborate on its growing interest is blockchain technology, the secure digital ledger system that can be applied not only to protect financial transactions, but also many other operations such as defending against cyberattacks, protecting logistics supply chains, and securing communications with aircraft and satellites.






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On Thursday, the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act, championed by Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, was approved in both the House and Senate. Meaning, significant overhaul and modernization of government technology is just one presidential signature away from being reality.






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The Modernizing Government Technology Act passed the Senate as a part of the Manager’s Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act on Sept. 18. “By incentivizing the transition to modern technology, we will allow the government to harness cutting-edge technologies, use each dollar more efficiently, strengthen our digital infrastructure and improve government services for everyone,” said Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, the bill’s author.






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Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said that he expects his Modernizing Government Technology Act to pass the Senate within the next week as an add-on to the Senate’s 2018 National Defense Authorization Act deliberations. “Buying IT goods and services in the Federal government is pretty silly,” said Hurd, criticizing the fact that agencies must use all of their IT funding for the year or risk losing it. “That is an insane way to purchase things to defend our digital infrastructure,”






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