May 14 2020

How USDA and Energy Are Modernizing via the TMF

Two of the earliest recipients of Technology Modernization Fund money are still working through their upgrades.

Some of the earliest recent pioneers of IT modernization are making progress on their IT upgrades. In recent years, agencies including the Agriculture and Energy departments have been in the midst of technology modernization projects. However, some of them are taking a bit longer than expected and have changed in scope. 

The 2018 Modernizing Government Technology Act established a Technology Modernization Fund to fund agency requests for IT modernization projects. 

Congress appropriated an initial $100 million for the TMF in fiscal year 2018 (compared with a $220 million White House request). In fiscal 2019 the administration requested $228 million and got $25 million, and the executive branch requested $150 million for fiscal 2020, but ended up receiving just another $25 million.

As FedTech reports, the TMC “essentially serves as a loan fund, with the expectation that the improvements will save money that agencies can use to pay back the government over a designated period of time. It allows agencies to replace and update old legacy systems that are expensive to maintain but require significant investment to improve.”

The Energy Department and the Department of Agriculture each received funding from the TMF in June 2018 in the first round of awards and have been pursuing their modernization projects ever since. 

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