Nextgov: Congress Gave OMB $1B for IT Upgrades. Now It Wants to Know How It Will Be Spent

“Democratic lawmakers leading House oversight committees sent a letter to officials at the Office of Management and Budget and General Services Administration requesting ‘the administration’s plan for the Technology Modernization Fund,’ a central pot of money for agency IT upgrades that was recently allocated $1 billion…”

“While lawmakers agreed to add $1 billion, Congress has yet to make any changes to the law establishing TMF or the rules by which it is governed. OMB officials, including Deputy Federal Chief Information Officer Maria Roat, have suggested TMF program managers could suspend the repayment requirement for certain projects without additional legislation.

Tuesday’s letter acknowledges the OMB director’s authority to make such decisions on a project-to-project basis. However, ‘This reimbursement model was intended to ensure the TMF remains self-sustaining and ensure agencies across the federal government are able to benefit from the Fund over time and use the funds to drive modernization within their agencies,’ they wrote…”

“The lawmakers requested a briefing from OMB and GSA officials no later than May 7, to include a detailed plan on ‘how the $1 billion appropriated to the TMF in the American Rescue Plan will be prioritized and spent.

That plan should address at least six key points:

  • How the program management office will be scaled appropriately to handle the volume of project proposals from agencies.
  • How the TMF Board will communicate opportunities to federal agencies to access TMF funding, including plans on how it might encourage proposals from agencies with the greatest IT modernization needs.
  • Criteria the TMF Board will use to determine which proposals to prioritize.
  • Criteria that OMB will use to ensure proposals that anticipate a financial return on investment have appropriate and applicable timetables for reimbursement.
  • Criteria for measuring the success of proposals that do not anticipate a financial return on investment to ensure modernization goals are met and other performance and outcome improvements are achieved.
  • Other information that OMB or GSA determines will assist in robust congressional oversight of the $1 billion fund to ensure transparency and successful implementation…” Read the full article here.

Source: Congress Gave OMB $1B for IT Upgrades. Now It Wants to Know How It Will Be Spent – By Aaron Boyd, April 14, 2021. Nextgov.

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