The United States is unparalleled in its commitment to protecting Americans’ liberties and freedoms and is unmatched in its national security infrastructure. Hardworking Americans have built the world’s largest economy and solved some of the world’s greatest challenges through innovations in science and technology. It is imperative for the Federal Government to leverage these innovations to provide better service for its citizens in the most cost-effective and secure manner. This Administration has prioritized modernization of Federal information technology (IT) systems, and to that end, has committed to help agencies better leverage American innovations through increased use of commercial technology.
As a demonstration of this commitment, on May 1, 2017, the President established the American Technology Council (ATC) to effectuate the secure and efficient use of IT across the Federal Government. Just days later, on May 11, 2017, the President signed Executive Order (EO) 13800, Strengthening the Cybersecurity of Federal Networks and Critical Infrastructure. The latter EO tasks the Director of ATC to coordinate a report to the President from the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), in consultation with the Secretary of Commerce (Commerce), regarding the modernization of Federal IT.
Acknowledging that Federal agencies are still working, and must continue to work, to meet the objectives of other critical modernization initiatives – for instance, by automating their manual processes, implementing new and diverse testing and scanning options, deploying patches both responsively and preventatively, and by transitioning away from unsupported software – this report outlines the current and envisioned state of Federal IT, and it provides specific recommendations to jumpstart a new wave of modernization efforts.
This report is focused on modernization efforts to improve the security posture of Federal IT. Though this covers a significant footprint of modernization needs, the public comment period generated responses from industry that highlighted the importance of providing an overarching IT modernization plan, which aligns these efforts with ongoing work to improve citizen-facing services, make better use of mobile technologies, improving security across the Federal enterprise, and other key efforts. In response to this, the American Technology Council will provide this amplifying context following publication of this final report.
The enclosed plan incorporates the efforts of key Government stakeholders in identifying ways for the Government to enhance its cybersecurity posture, modernize the Federal IT enterprise, and create a more robust partnership between Government and industry. Additionally, the ATC has convened top private and public sector leaders to elicit and incorporate input on the vision for the future of Federal IT, and it intends to seek further input to ensure successful implementation of modernization recommendations.