230719 S 2032 Legacy IT Reduction Act HSGAC
July 19, 2023
Dear Chairman Peters and Ranking Member Paul:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports S. 2032, the “Legacy IT Reduction Act of 2023,” and we commend your committee for holding the mark up scheduled for July 19. As technology continues to improve the lives of Americans, including how we interact with the government, the federal government must embrace digital transformation to meet the needs of the 21st-century digital ecosystem. For example, in 2001, only 30% of the American public e-filed their taxes; in 2022, the number rose to over 97%.
However, federal information technology (IT) has been unable to keep pace with the private sector or our increasingly digital way of life. Congress has not provided agencies with the adequately directed funding or the policy directives needed to ensure sustainability and long-term government digital transformation. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, decades-old systems crashed for services such as unemployment insurance and small business loans. These system failures occurred when citizens and small businesses were reliant upon the performance of these systems to survive. These critical systems do not become outdated overnight—it takes years and decades of government neglect. This lack of investment was seen earlier this year when commercial aviation came to a halt due to disruptions in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Notice to Air Mission (NOTAMs) system. This inaction leads to unnecessary delays and problems for the American public and costs taxpayers money. A recent Chamber report highlighted that “using outdated and manual processes costs Americans an estimated $117 billion and government agencies an estimated $38.7 billion yearly.”
For this reason, we strongly support S. 2032, The Legacy IT Reduction Act, which would require:
· Federal agencies to inventory their legacy IT systems;
· Agencies to develop modernization plans to either update or dispose of those systems;
· The Office of Management and Budget to issue guidance and assist agencies with identifying legacy systems.
We are eager to work with Congress to develop solutions that will assist in helping agencies meet the needs of the 21st century, and we urge you to expeditiously report S. 2032.
Executive Vice President
Chamber Technology Engagement Center
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
cc: Members of the Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs