Thanks to the efforts of Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, who introduced the bill, and co-sponsor Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., the Modernizing Government Technology Act (MGT) was signed by President Trump on Dec. 12, 2017. MGT’s stated purpose and summary is as follows:
H.R. 2227, the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act of 2017, authorizes two types of funds for the purpose of modernizing the federal government’s legacy information technology (IT) and to incentivize IT savings in federal agencies. The bill authorizes all Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Act agencies to establish agency-specific IT modernization funds and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to oversee a government-wide IT modernization fund in the U.S. Department of Treasury to be administered by the General Services Administration (GSA).
An amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, MGT essentially creates a $500 million fund to enable government agencies to modernize and upgrade technology. Over time, improvements are meant to save money, enable greater efficiencies and increase cyber security capabilities.
Section 4 of the Act states: “The bill establishes a Technology Modernization Fund for technology related activities, to improve information technology, and to enhance cybersecurity across the federal government. The fund shall be administered by the Commissioner of the Technology Transformation Service of the General Services Administration in accordance with guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget. The Commissioner shall:
- transfer amounts from the fund to an agency to improve, retire, or replace existing federal information technology systems to enhance cybersecurity and improve efficiency and effectiveness;
- use amounts in the fund for the development, operation, and procurement of information technology products, services, and acquisition vehicles to improve efficiency and cybersecurity; and
- use amounts in the fund to provide services or work performed in support of such activities.”
Such support will go a long way in helping agencies meet requirements of earlier mandates like the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) and the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI). In fact, agencies were struggling so much to meet the originally imposed DCOI deadline of Sept. 30, 2018, it has been extended to 2020.
Planning and funding DCOI
It’s still unclear how MGT funding will be obtained and distributed, but agencies will surely need to present a solid plan in order to be eligible. Getting ahead of DCOI is something we recommended as a sound practice in 2016, and, even though the deadline is further out now, agencies should still move ahead with a sense of urgency.
If you need help getting started, feel free to request a power usage effectiveness (PUE) assessment by contacting your Schneider Electric representative or by emailing: email@example.com. A new dashboard within our data center infrastructure management (DCIM) tool can also help. This new component will highlight information required by DCOI including PUE, server utilization, facility utilization and energy metering.