Several committee Democrats called on Congress to pass the Information Technology Modernization Act, a bill that would establish a $3.1 billion rotating fund to help agencies update their IT systems. An independent panel would review agency fund requests, and agencies would be required to pay back the money after their projects are complete and they presumably achieve cost savings.
The GAO's Powner also noted agencies could see more cost savings by continuing to consolidate data centers, an effort ongoing in President Barack Obama's administration since 2010. While agencies have closed about 3,100 data centers, another 10,500 remain in operation, he said.
Closing an additional 2,000 data centers, in some cases moving to the cloud, could save $5.4 billion, he said. "We need to definitely get more modern," he said.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.