Why the U.S. government needs its own IT agency

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The technology used by the Department of Treasury to track taxpayer accounts is 57 years old — old enough to have been born and taken early retirement.

This is one example of the U.S. government relying on tech that’s so old people have to learn specialized skills just to use it.

Most of the tech the government uses, from data centers to networks to emails, is controlled by individual agencies, all of which have at least one CIO. Some experts say it’s time to consolidate everything related to information technology under one agency.

A standalone agency?

“Congress needs to start [the process] and say, ‘This is what we want,'” said retired Brigadier General Gregory Touhill, the first chief information security officer of the U.S.

For the last five months of the Obama administration, Touhill oversaw cybersecurity policy and implementation across all federal agencies.

He proposed a centralized IT organization that would help agencies adopt more modern systems. This agency would be in charge of everything that uses a .gov domain. (The military has its own IT management agency to manage .mil domains.) He said it would reduce the cost of data centers and operations, provide better management of storing data in the cloud and improve security.

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