During the past few years, discussions in Washington, D.C. have intensified over the battle to modernize the Federal Government’s information technology (IT) systems. In May 2016, Representative Jason Chaffetz—Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives—boldly stated that American “[t]axpayers deserve a government that leverages technology to serve them, rather than one that deploys unsecured, decades-old technology that places their sensitive and personal information at risk.”1 Within six months of coming into office, President Trump issued an Executive Order calling on the Government to “transform and modernize [Government] information technology and how [the Government] uses and delivers digital services.”2 These sweeping proclamations sound an increasingly familiar tune, often whistled by those who work for Uncle Sam at the highest levels—old technology wastes taxpayers dollars and leaves the Government more susceptible to cyberattacks.3 In fact, from 2006 through 2015, the number of reported security incidents in federal agencies increased by an astounding 1,303%.4 Against this alarming backdrop, the Government has grown ever more reliant upon commercial companies to assist in modernizing its IT systems.

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This article was published in Briefing Papers publication.