Dear Chairs Comer and Mace and Ranking Members Raskin and Connolly:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Technology Engagement Center (“C_TEC”) writes to express our support for today’s hearing on the “Costly Inaction on Federal Legacy IT.” As technology continues to change our way of life, including how we interact with the government, we must have a federal government that embraces the need to digitally transform the government to meet the needs of the 21st-century digital ecosystem.
As an example, in 2001 only 30% of the American public e-filed their taxes; in 2022, the number rose to over 97%. As technology quickly develops, it is incumbent upon the federal government to better serve the American public with creative and innovative front-facing solutions.
However, federal information technology (IT) has been unable to keep pace with the private sector or our increasingly digital way of life. Congress has not provided agencies with adequately directed funding or the necessary policy directives to ensure sustainability and long-term government digital transformation. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, decades-old systems crashed for services such as unemployment insurance and small business loans. These system failures occurred when citizens and small businesses were reliant upon assistance to survive. For years the government has failed to prioritize and make the necessary investments to modernize critical government IT systems, an inaction that also costs significant taxpayer money. A recent Chamber report highlighted that “using outdated and manual processes costs Americans an estimated $117 billion and government agencies an estimated $38.7 billion yearly.”
At a time when America is confronting inflation and budgetary stresses, Congress must look to find new and creative ways to solve fiscal challenges and improve services through government IT modernization. We are eager to work with the Oversight and Accountability Committee to develop solutions that will assist in helping agencies meet the needs of the 21st century while at the same time looking to putting federal IT modernization on a sustainable path that ensures the continued needed long-term investment.
Executive Vice President
Chamber Technology Engagement Center
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
cc: Members of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology & Government Affairs
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