TMF Board considering three projects from Department of Energy

(Department of Energy / Flickr)

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The Department of Energy has submitted three projects for consideration by the Technology Modernization Fund board, according to the agency’s principal deputy CIO.

Speaking at an AFCEA Bethesda event Tuesday, Emery Csulak said the proposals relate to IT infrastructure and cybersecurity, and that they were submitted amid concerns about the state of the working capital fund at the Department of Energy (DOE).

“We have existing funds on projects that we had already initiated,” Csulak said. “Obviously we can continue those solutions, however new investments are all pending on the government [budgeting process],” said Csulak.

The TMF Board is shortly expected to announce a fresh round of funding awards, after federal CIO Clare Martorana in October said they would likely come “within weeks.” In September the board announced seven new projects in its first round of awards, since receiving a $1 billion infusion as part of the American Rescue Plan.

Speaking also at the event, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)chief information officer David Nelson said that the Biden administration’s cybersecurity and supply chain executive orders had forced agencies to reevaluate how they spend on risk reduction and data collection.

“The risk-based decisions we made in the past were based more on available funds,” Nelson said. “And now I think there’s a different appetite across the federal government as to how much risk we’re going to accept, how much information we’re going to collect.”

Agencies like NRC were only “just maturing” their supply chain resilience, when the Biden administration’s executive orders urged them to scale those efforts and implementation of zero-trust security architectures, Nelson said.

NRC has focused early efforts on increasing log sharing in accordance with the Office of Management and Budget’s companion memo to the Cyber EO, while the National Nuclear Security Administration wants a better understanding of the people and machine identities on its network.

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Clare Martorana, Department of Energy (DOE), NRC, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), TMF
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