Acquisition

IT modernization fund won't impinge on Schedule 70

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In its fiscal 2017 budget, the Obama administration proposed a $3.1 billion Information Technology Modernization fund that agencies would use to upgrade legacy technology.

In the proposal, President Barack Obama lamented the federal government's reliance on outdated IT systems and wanted to make it easier for agencies to replace them.

The fund would be managed by the General Services Administration, and GSA officials said it was not likely to have a negative impact on the agency's most popular and lucrative Schedule 70 multiple-award contracting vehicle.

Even if agencies move away from legacy IT systems under the proposed fund, they would have to replace them with newer systems, said Kay Ely, Schedule 70 director in GSA's Office of Integrated Technology Services.

"There's very little that Schedule 70 can't handle," she told FCW after a presentation at a GSA Industry Day on Feb. 10, hosted by FCW sister publication Washington Technology. "We can help them find new solutions. It's there's a lot of legacy, then it has to be replaced with something."

It has been estimated that around three-quarters of the $80 billion federal IT budget goes to maintain legacy systems. The IT Modernization fund, which will require legislation to enact, is designed to kick-start more than $12 billion in modernization projects over 10 years. Projects would be selected by a team of experts in cybersecurity, acquisition and agile development, and prioritized based on scale, impact and the extent to which their success lowers overall cybersecurity risk for federal IT systems.

The fund would be replenished by the savings agencies achieve by moving to more cost-effective, scalable platforms.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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