The Technology Modernization Fund on Wednesday announced new investments to improve the customer experience and bolster cybersecurity within three public-facing agencies: the Labor Department, AmeriCorps, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The purpose of the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) investment is to modernize parts of the federal government by focusing on a digital-first customer experience and cybersecurity goals while supporting the intent and investment priorities of the $1.9 trillion COVID stimulus bill, the American Rescue Plan, which is where the funds have come from.
“The TMF provides critical funding to address urgent IT modernization and cybersecurity challenges across the federal government,” said TMF Board Chair and Federal CIO Clare Martorana. “The investments in DOL, AmeriCorps, and USAID will modernize outdated systems, accelerate implementation of zero trust architecture to address immediate cybersecurity gaps, and enhance public-facing services in order to provide simple, seamless, and secure access to government services.”
The fund will invest $7.2 million in the Labor Department to help modernize how employers access permanent labor certification services and create a more seamless visa processing experience; $14 million in AmeriCorps to replace a 20-year-old system with a new integrated system that allows the agency and its partners to better focus on serving local communities; and $5.6 million in USAID to reduce the cyber risks associated with the agency’s global mission and improve user experience for its workforce.
TMF is overseen by the Technology Modernization Board, which is composed of government IT leaders with expertise in technology, transformation, and operations. The fund has invested over $500 million so far. The management of the TMF is housed within GSA.
The last round of TMF investments in June put a total of $94.8 million in three projects — within the Agriculture Department, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Homeland Security — to support initiatives that are focused on improving network infrastructure through the adoption of zero-trust security.
Some federal agencies have been required to pay back some of the funds they received from the TMF for IT and cybersecurity projects, according to a Government Accountability Office decision issued in July.
The new funding is expected to help bolster the government’s commitment to updating key IT systems.
“The TMF continues to make smart technology investments to modernize IT systems, safeguard sensitive data, and provide the American taxpayers with efficient, effective access to necessary services,” said TMF Executive Director Raylene Yung. “These investments demonstrate the federal government’s commitment to transforming the way agencies use technology while improving the end-user experience.”