Lawmakers make case for adding $1B to Federal Technology Modernization Fund

“Pressure to add more money to the Technology Modernization Fund is mounting. A few days after a letter from House lawmakers, six senators wrote to Appropriations Committee leaders asking them to match the House request of $1 billion for the governmentwide account.”

“’The federal COVID-19 response has dramatically exposed the failures of outdated, legacy federal IT systems and shone a light on the need for agencies to more quickly modernize their networks,’ stated the letter, which was spearheaded by Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). ‘For example, in its June 2020 report, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee identified multiple agencies where IT systems struggled to accommodate large percentages of teleworking federal employees, causing system problems that slow the place of normal functions like claims processing, increasing security risk, and making telework inefficient and frustrating. In other cases, small business owners and citizens were deeply frustrated by poorly functioning claims systems…’”

“This is the first time Senators have pushed for additional TMF funding in the stimulus bills.”

“House lawmakers, led by Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and others, offered up $3 billion in an initial version of the first stimulus bill, and then $1 billion in subsequent pandemic relief legislation.”

“The fact that Senators are paying more attention to these IT management issues gives some hope for a possible breakthrough. Former Federal Chief Information Officers Suzette Kent and Tony Scott said in July that challenges brought on by the pandemic drew much needed attention to the need for agencies to move off legacy systems more quickly…” Read the full article here.

Source: Senate Democrats make case for adding $1B to Technology Modernization Fund – By Jason Miller, July 29, 2020. Federal News Network.

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