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DelBene Bill Aims to Improve Government Technology

The bill would extend the U.S. Digital Service to provide a higher-quality customer experience while saving taxpayer dollars.

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today introduced legislation to extend the life of the U.S. Digital Service (USDS), a low-cost way to improve government use of technology, save taxpayer dollars and provide people the quality of government services they deserve.

“The U.S. Digital Service was formed as a way to temporarily bring the technical know-how of industry experts to the tech-challenged federal government, but the truth is we need more than temporary advice,” DelBene said. “As someone with two decades of experience in the technology sector, I can tell you our government’s use of technology can be more efficient, flexible and customer-centric. Whether it’s applying for student loans or signing up for Medicare online, too often taxpayers are confronted with unfriendly, confusing user-platforms. The U.S. Digital Service is working to identify, fix and prevent large-scale technology issues within government so that taxpayers can get the return on investment they deserve. We have some of the most talented tech minds in the world willing to forgo more lucrative private sector jobs because they want to improve our country – we should not waste this opportunity.”

The U.S. Digital Service Act (H.R. 5372) would authorize a 10-year extension of USDS so the program doesn’t end with this administration.

According to the Brookings Institute, the U.S. government spent $75.6 billion on IT projects in 2014 and only 6.4 percent of projects costing $10 million or more were considered successful. USDS could act as a source of experts to help ensure these massive expenditures are contained and delivering real results for taxpayers.

Reps. Ron Kind (WI-03), Jared Polis (CO-02) and Jerry McNerney (CA-09) are lead cosponsors of DelBene’s bill.