WASHINGTON – U.S Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) questioned President Joe Biden’s nominee to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden, today during a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.
To watch Senator Hassan’s questioning, click here.
Senator Hassan questioned Ms. Tanden about how the Office of Management and Budget can work with Congress to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government, including by prioritizing IT modernization.
“The federal IT infrastructure is woefully out of date,” Senator Hassan said. “This not only opens federal systems up to cyber-attacks, but also fails to provide the level of customer service that the American people expect in the 21st Century. Of particular concern is the fact that the federal government spends more taxpayer dollars on maintaining old legacy IT systems than investing in new, agile, and secure systems.”
Citing the SolarWinds cybersecurity breach, Ms. Tanden agreed with Senator Hassan, saying that there is a lot of work to do to secure government systems and ensure that they are working efficiently on behalf of the American people.
“One of my top priorities would be to work on the issue of cybersecurity and do so with this committee,” Ms. Tanden said. “It’s also important that we make our government more consumer friendly…our government can be woefully inefficient and ineffective because we don’t really use technology effectively.”
Ms. Tanden highlighted President Biden’s focus on IT modernization, and noted that the President included additional funding for the Technology Modernization Fund in his COVID-19 relief proposal, which is a funding source that agencies can use to modernize their IT systems. Ms. Tanden also discussed the importance of bolstering the federal government’s technology infrastructure in order to help get the American people the government relief that they need more quickly, particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Hassan also questioned Ms. Tanden on the need to reduce wasteful government spending. “I introduced bipartisan legislation to implement several recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office to eliminate duplicative federal programs and improve efficient spending,” Senator Hassan said. “However, a barrier to doing more to eliminate duplicative waste is the lack of a complete federal program inventory. If confirmed, will you renew efforts to complete a federal program inventory?”
Ms. Tanden pledged to work with Senator Hassan to renew efforts to complete a federal program inventory and eliminate duplicative and wasteful government programs.