WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) applauded the U.S. House of Representatives passing their bipartisan Modernization Centers of Excellence Program Act that will accelerate the adoption of the latest technologies by government agencies. This legislation expands upon Senator Portman’s bipartisan Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Government Act, which codifies an AI Center of Excellence (CoE) within the General Services Administration to provide technical expertise to relevant government agencies; advise agencies on the procurement of AI technology; and promote U.S. competitiveness through agency and industry cooperation. Inspired by Senator Portman’s legislation, GSA created the AI CoE last year. The Modernization Centers of Excellence Program Act lays out the responsibilities that all of GSA’s CoEs should have and harmonizes their roles to strengthen the government’s technology expertise beyond just AI. The legislation awaits consideration in the Senate.

“As technology continues to change and advance, it’s important that the federal government understands the significant impacts it will have on our country, economy, and society,” said Senator Portman, Co-Chair of the Senate AI Caucus. “Ensuring that our government has the capabilities and expertise to help navigate the impacts of the latest technology will be important in the coming years and decades. I applaud the House for passing this bill and call on the Senate to act on our bipartisan legislation to ensure our government agencies have the insight and resources they need better to understand the benefits and pitfalls of this technology.”

“This bipartisan legislation will help the federal government modernize old systems and, in turn, become more efficient,” Senator Hassan said. “I am glad that this commonsense bill has passed the House, and I will keep working with Senator Portman to bring it up for a vote in the Senate.”

As co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Artificial Intelligence Caucus, Portman has helped lead efforts in the Senate on this issue and has worked in a bipartisan manner on several key measures to set high-quality standards around emerging technology, including cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

Source: Press Release
September 30, 2020