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Agencies request use of IT modernization funds

NOTE: This article first appeared on FCW.com.

Nine agencies have submitted plans to tap the first $100 million available via the Technology Modernization Fund, but no decisions have been made yet.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told House appropriators on April 18 that the Office of Management and Budget is still making up its mind.

The 2018 omnibus spending package backed the Modernizing Government Technology Act with a $100 million appropriation. The money is housed at the General Services Administration, which has requested another $210 million for the fund in its fiscal 2019 budget.

Mulvaney didn't name the nine agencies, but he said the process of funding legacy IT systems modernization, which has been operating since March under the multiagency TMF Board, was functioning well so far.

Under the TMF process, federal agencies compete for funding. The board evaluates project proposals and decides which have higher priority and need modernization investment. A guidance memo released in late February said initial proposals should be limited to two pages and could be submitted immediately.

The board's first meeting was on March 12.

"I think you'd be satisfied with the way the process is working," Mulvaney told Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee member Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) in response to a question about the fund. "We’re very excited about the stuff we’ve seen so far."

The fund was on Mulvaney's mind before he began his prepared testimony at the hearing. He made a point of thanking members of the subcommittee for their work on the TMF.

"You all put a bunch of money in there. We really appreciate that," he said as the hearing began. "This is a very innovative  program where we have a group of folks from all over the executive branch who get together and essentially, we have a competitive process where we’ll pick programs that we think might actually work, and we'll spend money on those to try and update our IT," Mulvaney said.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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