U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) authored a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee requesting swift consideration of the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017 (S. 990/H.R. 2227). This is legislation to modernize government information technology, eliminate wasteful spending and strengthen cybersecurity.

The letter was also signed by U.S. Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

“In the time that has passed since we first introduced this legislation, the threats of hacking, espionage and cybercrime have only grown more real,” said Moran. “This month we saw a worldwide ransomware attack that impacted hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries. Protecting our data has never been more important. By bringing government IT systems into the 21st century, not only can we strengthen the security of our data, we can save billions of taxpayer dollars by reducing long-term wasteful spending.”

“Senators from both sides of the aisle recognize the urgency of this issue: as we have seen just this month with the ‘WannaCry’ attack, global cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and pose a complex and serious threat to our national security,” said Udall. “But the federal government continues to rely on grossly outdated IT systems that make us vulnerable to such damaging cyberattacks. I welcome House passage of this bipartisan legislation, which will help federal agencies to retire old systems and invest in new and critical technologies. Maintaining old IT systems is a security risk and costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year. Now it’s time for the Senate to pass this bipartisan bill and see it signed into law, to ensure that our government is getting better service at a better value for American taxpayers.“?

“Having spent twelve years in the technology sector, I know firsthand the threats cyber criminals pose and the need for modernized equipment to protect against attacks,” said Daines. “We have seen in recent years attacks on private business and governments that have crippling effects. It is more important now than ever to pass this important bipartisan legislation and bring the government into the modern era.”

“Ensuring that government agencies have the resources to invest in current technology is just smart management: Up-to-date systems means better service delivery and improved cyber security,” said Sen. Warner. “Our bipartisan legislation is a commonsense step to enable federal agencies to make these critical investments.”

In the House, which passed the MGT Act with bipartisan support on May 17, the bill was led by U.S. Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).

The bill is supported by a number of IT industry stakeholders and trade associations including the IT Alliance for the Public Sector, Professional Services Council, TechNet, Amazon Web Service, Cisco, Adobe, BMC, Brocade, Intel, Microsoft, Business Roundtable, CA Technologie, Compuware, CSRA, Level 3 and Unisys.