Paying for Federal IT Modernization

One of the themes in the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) focuses on eliminating the discrepancy between the American people’s experiences dealing with the private sector and their experiences interacting with the Federal Government. For many Federal Agencies, bridging this gap will require an overhaul of information technology (IT) assets and processes.

Why now?

Through the PMA initiative, the current Administration seeks to increase productivity and security, improve customer experience, and leverage data as a strategic asset across the Federal Government. These objectives simply cannot be achieved without significant changes – IT Modernization cannot be delayed any longer.

Yes, but how will we cover the cost?

Federal Government Agencies can secure financing for IT modernization through:

What is the Technology Modernization Fund?

The TMF is an innovative funding vehicle authorized by the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017. It provides incremental funding and technical expertise to ensure the success of approved IT modernization projects for Federal Agencies. These funds must be repaid over five years.

How does the TMF evaluate projects?

The Technology Modernization Board, which consists of IT leaders in the Federal Government who have proven expertise in technology, transformation, and operations oversees the TMF, evaluate and approve technology modernization proposals. Agencies submit proposals to the Board for review in two phases:

  • Initial – The Board reviews a short description of the project to evaluate its merit and confirm that the request has not been denied or restricted by Congress.
  • Full – The project team presents an in-person pitch to the Board which includes a comprehensive description of the project, the problem it’s meant to solve, projected outcomes, and an incremental schedule of milestones and funding.

Which proposals will be approved?

During a recent panel discussion at 2019 CX Summit, panel experts offered the following recommendations:

  • Provide a measurable outcome that matters to the American people.
  • Utilize existing processes and tools to reduce cost and make the proposed changes work faster or more efficiently.
  • Understand that the funds will be distributed incrementally. Ensure that each increment will produce measurable progress.
  • Demonstrate that this investment will produce outcomes from which many entities can benefit. For example, the framework may be applied to or shared by other agencies.

Where can I learn more about the TMF?

Representatives from OMB, SSA, VA participate in a panel on the Technology Modernization Fund at 2019 CX Summit on June 25, 2019

  • The Technology Modernization Fund website provides instructions on how to submit a proposal, answers to common questions, and details of projects that have been approved for funding.
  • The TMF page of the Government Services Agency (GSA) website includes a brief description of the TMF and its Program Management Office (PMO) which provides support to applicants from initial concept development through proposal review, acceptance, and award of funds.
  • The Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017 describes the overriding objectives of this initiative and provides a provision for creating IT Working Capital Funds, the Technology Modernization Fund, and guidelines for proposal review and approval.
  • Management Concepts offers a Federal Financial Certificate Program (FFMCP) and more than 40 Financial Management courses in Accounting, Appropriations Law, Budgeting & Performance, General Financial Management, and Internal Control in addition to certification preparation training for Certified Government Financial Manager® (CGFM®), Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM), Certified Internal Auditor® (CIA®), and Certified Government Auditing Professional® (CGAP®).

Where does your agency stand when it comes to Technology Modernization? Need some inspiration? Take a look at the steps a few Federal Agencies have taken to improve their software tools, enhance security, and migrate to the cloud in Efforts to Improve User Experiences at Federal Government Agencies or learn how Data-Driven Decision Making can increase effectiveness and productivity at your agency.

Written by:
Natalie Komitsky
Financial Management
Media Type:

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