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$500M Provision to Modernize Federal IT Included in Negotiated Defense Authorization Bill

Lawmakers have incorporated a provision that would fund federal agencies’ efforts to update information technology systems as part of the final version of the proposed defense authorization plan for fiscal year 2018, The Hill reported Thursday.

A Senate Armed Services Committee spokesperson confirmed to the publication that the Modernizing Government Technology Act is now a provision in the $692 billion 2018 National Defense Authorization Act markup negotiated by a joint House-Senate conference committee.

The report said the provision seeks to generate a $500 million IT modernization budget over five years to supplement working capital set for agencies’ efforts to transition to newer technology.

Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) introduced the MGT Act bill to the House, where it cleared the floor in May, while Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) introduced companion legislation to the Senate, which also included MGT Act in its approved version of NDAA.

The bill previously did not pass the Senate’s approval after the Congressional Budget Office determined the first iteration would cost $9 billion to implement, the report added.

Congress will now need to agree on the overall amount for the 2018 NDAA before submission to the White House as it is currently almost $85 billion above the Budget Control Act-capped defense budget for next fiscal year, ExecutiveGov said in its report.

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