230727 Coalition Technology Modernization Fund Senate Approps
July 27, 2023
Dear Chairman Van Hollen and Ranking Member Hagerty:
The undersigned organizations strongly urge continued investments to modernize and improve legacy federal government information technology and respectfully request funding for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (P.L. 117-2) not be rescinded.
The TMF has played a tremendously important role in reducing long-term costs from maintaining legacy systems, helping detect fraud schemes, funding critical cybersecurity initiatives, securing sensitive data, furthering zero trust architecture, modernizing networks, and helping to implement the requirements of the cyber and customer experience executive orders and the 21st Century IDEA law, and others. With appropriate resourcing, it can also be expected to support new requirements not accompanied by new funding to implement them successfully. With increasing demands due to threats from rogue states and actors, we should invest more, not less, in federal IT security and modernization—not rescinding millions in already-appropriated funds.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how obsolete and legacy IT systems can drastically affect our government’s ability to provide necessary services quickly, efficiently, and reliably. The strain on the aging and inflexible systems that powered unemployment insurance and small business loan programs, to name only a few, occurred when individuals and small businesses were more reliant than ever on these vital systems. We greatly appreciate Congress recognizing these needs by making an unprecedented $1 billion investment to address the essential investment in modernizing government IT.
Federal IT modernization funding, such as that provided to the TMF, must be an ongoing investment to ensure the future sustainability of government services. It is vital to increase the pace of replacing legacy technology to ensure the government delivers to the American people long after the pandemic.
The efforts to rescind $290,000,000 of “unobligated balances” of the American Rescue plan lawwould significantly impair the federal government’s ability to make necessary investments to better serve Americans. These efforts may cost taxpayers more due to the high costs of maintaining legacy systems while allowing for additional cyber vulnerability due to antiquated software. We urge the continued prioritization of IT modernization by not rescinding funding Congress previously committed in the American Rescue Plan Act.
In addition, to advance federal IT modernization, ensure flexibility, respond to emergencies, and curtail waste, fraud, and inefficiencies, investments must be sustained in FY 2024 and beyond.
Thank you for your time and attention to this issue, and we look forward to continuing to work with your Subcommittee and the full Committee on this critical priority.
Alliance for Digital Innovation
BSA I The Software Alliance
Center for Procurement Advocacy
Computer & Communications Industry Association
Cloud Service Providers - Advisory Board
Information Technology Industry Council
Professional Services Council
Security Industry Association
Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)
U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center
cc: Members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations