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Reps. Phillips, Cline Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Promote Efficient Technology Use By Federal Agencies

– This week, Congressmen Ben Cline (VA-06) and Dean Phillips (MN-03) introduced H.R. 7949 - the SMART Government Act. This legislation would implement a three-pronged approach to establish better governance and oversight regarding Federal technology practices.

H.R. 7949 would:

  1. Work to consolidate the more than 12,000 government data centers, which would not only save federal dollars but would promote transparency within these facilities.
  2. Require Federal agencies to properly track and report their software assets to eliminate unnecessary redundancies in purchasing.
  3. Mandate that documents transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration are done so electronically to ensure the government is better equipped to access its data and respond to individual requests in a timely manner.

Rep. Cline said, “The Federal government invests more than $90 billion annually in information technology yet lacks the necessary oversight measures to protect against waste. The SMART Government Act is a first step in working to promote a system of technological use that is more accountable to and efficient for the U.S. tax-payer.”

Rep. Phillips said, “We didn’t leave the Stone Age because we ran out of rocks – we found a better way of doing things. Congress is an 18th century institution operating in a 21st century world. In order to meet the needs of the American people, and save the taxpayer money, we have to update and innovate. The SMART Government Act will modernize our government and put us on the path towards being more efficient and responsive to our constituent’s needs.”

This legislation is the first in a series of bipartisan government reform bills that Congressmen Cline and Phillips intend to introduce together over the next several weeks.