EEOC, USDA get first TMF awards of fiscal 2020

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The Technology Modernization Board announced  Monday morning that it has chosen two new projects to be recipients of Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) awards.

In this round of funding, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will get $4 million for a case management modernization project and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will get $8 million for modernization of its “special crops system” at the Agricultural Marketing Service.

“As the first two projects approved in Fiscal Year 2020, the Board reinforces its commitment to leveraging the TMF as a catalyst to accelerate the transformation of antiquated technical and operational processes,” Federal CIO Suzette Kent, who leads the board, said in a statement.

Kent elaborated a little during her remarks on Monday at ACT IAC’s ELC conference in Philadelphia. “It’s two projects that were operating on paper-based processes, to serve citizens, and one of them even used triplicate copy forms,” she said. “I don’t know about you, but I don’t even know where I can buy triplicate copy forms any more. I certainly haven’t seen them at Staples or anything like that.”

Now, both awarded agencies will use the money to transition from their legacy systems to modern, cloud-based versions.

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.

Since then awards — the funds of which agencies must pay back with money saved by newer and more modern processes — have been given to the departments of Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Labor and Agriculture, and the General Services Administration. This is USDA’s third TMF win — in June 2018 the agency was awarded $10 million to put behind its Farmers.gov portal and in October 2018 it got $5 million for a project on infrastructure optimization and cloud adoption.

All in all the fund has given close to $100 million to nine modernization projects across the government.

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Department of Agriculture (USDA), EEOC, Suzette Kent, Technology Modernization Fund, Technology Modernization Fund Board
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