Date: September 27, 2016
House Passes H.R. 6004,
the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2016
On September 22, 2016, the House passed H.R. 6004, the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2016, under suspension of the rules. The bill would authorize Federal agencies to reprogram already available funds or receive other funds to modernize their information technology (IT) infrastructure for the purpose of enhancing cybersecurity and improving cost-efficiency and effectiveness.
Provisions of Interest to SSA:
IT Systems Modernization and Working Capital Fund
- Would establish in each covered agency1 an IT Working Capital Fund to: upgrade, retire, or replace existing systems to improve efficiency and effectiveness; transition to cloud computing; assist efforts to provide technology that addresses cyber threats; and to reimburse funds from the IT Modernization Fund described in the following section.
- Would permit the following funding sources:
- Reprogramming of funds, including funds available on the date of enactment, for the operations and maintenance of legacy IT systems in compliance with any laws or guidelines of the House and Senate Appropriations committees;
- Transfer of funds, including funds available on the date of enactment, for the operations and maintenance of legacy IT systems if specifically provided by law; and
- Discretionary appropriations.
- Would prohibit the Working Capital Fund from taking the place of any funds provided for the operation and maintenance of any system already within an appropriation for the covered agency at the time of establishment of the Working Capital Fund.
- Would require heads of covered agencies to prioritize the Working Capital Fund initially for cost-savings projects approved by the agency Chief Information Officer (CIO) in consultation with the Federal CIO. Such agency heads would be able to reprogram and transfer savings from IT operations and maintenance into the Working Capital Fund.
- Would require obligation of funds deposited into the Working Capital Fund within three years of the date of deposit. Unobligated funds would be rescinded and reported to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.
- Would require covered agency CIOs to consider evaluating projects for funding from the IT Modernization Fund described in the following section.
- Would require covered agencies to submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) the following information regarding the Working Capital Fund: (1) a list of IT investments funded with estimated costs and completion dates for each investment; and (2) a summary by fiscal year of the obligations, expenditures, and unused balances. Such agencies would submit the information no later than one year after the date of enactment and every 6 months thereafter.
IT Modernization Fund
- Would establish an IT Modernization Fund, administered according to OMB guidance, to improve IT and enhance cybersecurity. The Fund would be established by appropriations, with ongoing financing from agency reimbursements and repayments.
- Would direct the General Services Administration (GSA) to administer the IT Modernization Fund and establishes an IT Modernization Board to evaluate and recommend agency proposals submitted for funding authorized under the Fund. The Board would identify opportunities to consolidate IT systems across agencies.
- Would authorize the IT Modernization Fund to:
- Transfer funds to agency heads to improve, retire, or replace existing IT systems to enhance cybersecurity and improve efficiency and effectiveness;
- Develop, operate, and procure IT products and services for use by agencies to improve Government wide efficiency and cybersecurity in accordance with the requirements of the agencies; and
- Provide to agencies services or work performed in support of the above activities.
- Would, for transferred funds, require agencies to reimburse the IT Modernization Fund as outlined in a written agreement, recorded as an obligation of payment, between GSA and the agency.
- Would permit an agency to reimburse the Fund from any appropriation available for IT activities, notwithstanding any other provision of law.
- Would require that funds transferred to an agency by done incrementally, tied to metric-based performance as described in the written agreement, absent compelling circumstances by GSA to do otherwise.
- Would permit GSA to obtain reimbursement if an agency does not pay within 90 days of the expiration of the repayment period described in the written agreement.
- Would require agencies to pay the IT Modernization Fund for services and products the Fund provides at established amounts and repayment terms by GSA. Changes to the amounts and repayment terms would require GSA to conduct a review and obtain OMB approval beforehand. Would permit GSA to obtain reimbursement if an agency does make a payment within 45 days of being past due under a payment schedule.
- Would require OMB to publish on a public website, no less than quarterly, a list of each Modernization Fund project that includes information such as description, status, costs, cost overruns, and schedule delays.
Provisions under this bill would become effective upon enactment.
1 H.R. 6004 describes a covered agency as an agency listed in 31 UCS 901(b) as established under the Chief Financial Officer Act of 1990, which includes SSA.