In an eagerly awaited bit of news, the Technology Modernization Board announced Monday that it has chosen recipients for three additional Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) awards.
The Department of Labor, Department of Agriculture and the General Services Administration will collectively receive $23.5 million for three distinct modernization projects. It’s USDA’s second round of TMF funding.
The winning proposals, a press release states, “exemplify a commitment to improving citizen services, modernizing legacy technology, lowering operational costs, and creating a secure environment.”
Specifically, GSA will get $15 million for a project dubbed “Application Modernization Integrating Flexible Architecture.” DOL will spend its $3.5 million digitizing the currently paper-based labor certification process. And USDA will get $5 million for infrastructure optimization and cloud adoption. As always the TMF awards are an advance — the agencies must formulate a plan for paying back the funds they receive.
What these new winning projects don’t seem to feature — prominently, at least — is the use of emerging technologies. The TMF’s program management office at GSA has said it would like to see more proposals with emerging tech as a component.
The TMF was created by the Modernizing Government Technology Act, which President Trump signed into law in December 2017. The White House Office of Management and Budget then convened a seven-member board to oversee the $100 million fund and pick awardees in March. In June the board unveiled the first three winners — the departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, and Agriculture got a collective $45 million.
With this latest announcement, $31.5 million remains unallocated in the TMF’s current pot.
“Technology is a key enabler for Government and we must make sure our technology capabilities are modern, secure and resilient,” Suzette Kent, federal CIO and chairwoman of the TMF Board, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement continues to illustrate how Agencies are leveraging MGT Act to accelerate their transformation journeys. Awards today will drive specific citizen and agency benefits, but also create roadmaps and learnings that will be leveraged across other agencies with similar challenges.”