Federal Manager's Daily Report

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A bipartisan group of senators led by Intelligence Committee chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has asked that the fiscal 2023 budget include the $300 million the White House requested for the government-wide Technology Modernization Fund.

A letter to appropriators who will craft that budget says that even though one of the Coronavirus relief laws last year designated $1 billion toward that fund, “the demand for these funds was more than double their availability, and the administration confirms that the TMF will allocate the majority of these funds by the end of this current fiscal year.”

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The fund was established under a 2017 law designed to help agencies in their IT modernization efforts, for example by making available enough money at one time to replace outdated systems rather than amounts sufficient only to keep them operating.

The senators said that since its creation the fund has delivered some $400 million in funding to 20 modernization projects across the government and “presents agencies with a funding vehicle that is agile and allows them to amortize modernization costs, and that makes technical experts available to agencies throughout the proposal and implementation phases.”

“In addition to the urgent security concerns, ignoring these needed modernization efforts hinders the public’s ability to interact with the government in an efficient and responsive way. We saw this issue magnified during the course of the pandemic, as added demands at times overwhelmed our government’s ability to continue providing effective customer service and critical benefits to Americans. We have heard repeatedly from constituents how these strains have slowed the processing of benefits and claims, in many cases hindering their ability to access critical resources and needed assistance that Congress has put in place,” they wrote.

The House government management subcommittee has scheduled hearing for this week on the fund.

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2022 Federal Employees Handbook