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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Technology Modernization Fund Announces Targeted Investments to Improve Digital Customer Experience and Enhance Data Protection

The Enterprise Digital Content Delivery project at the NTSB aspires to provide intuitive and timely access to data that is complete, accurate, and relevant.

The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF), which recently celebrated its fifth anniversary, announced five new investments today. Three aim to improve digital service delivery at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), making it easier for their customers to access information, records, and services. The other two propose to enhance the cybersecurity protection of data and applications that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rely on to provide critical services and information to the American public.

“Technology Modernization Fund investments are enabling agencies to make their digital ecosystems more secure and resilient—and deliver a digital experience that meets today’s expectations,” said Clare Martorana, Federal CIO and TMF Board Chair. “The TMF investments we’re announcing today demonstrate that when we make smart, sound technical investments, we can maximize the impact of taxpayer dollars and propel agencies to work more efficiently and improve service delivery for the millions of Americans counting on them.”

“The Technology Modernization Fund is entering its sixth year investing in projects that are having real human impacts on the ways the federal government provides services to the American people,” said TMF Executive Director Raylene Yung. “Digital-first investments like these to modernize operations and protect data increase public trust and make it easier for people to get the services they need.”

National Transportation Safety Board: Improving CX with digital content delivery

The Enterprise Digital Content Delivery project at the NTSB aspires to provide intuitive and timely access to data that is complete, accurate, and relevant. Information for all NTSB investigations and safety recommendations is publicly available on NTSB.gov.

A $16.2 million TMF investment expects to enable the NTSB to build a unified digital experience that makes it easy to find, understand, and use information related to investigations and safety recommendations, is backed by comprehensive data sets, and includes all related content.

“By helping modernize our agency’s legacy IT systems, this loan will transform how we investigate transportation disasters and deliver critical safety information to the public,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. “The funding will pay dividends in terms of lives saved and injuries prevented.”

Bureau of Land Management: Digitizing records for easier public access

The BLM plans to take an agile approach to increase the number of land records available online and enhance the search functionality on its General Land Office website. Land records are in high demand, with the GLO website reporting 80,000 unique visitors accessing the data every month. Many records are distributed across multiple websites or have yet to be digitized.

With a $9.2 million TMF investment, BLM proposes to introduce optical character recognition and natural language processing, and the effort to publish land records would decrease by 80%. Users would benefit from improved efficiency and accuracy of the data retrieved and improved document images through a redesign of the public-facing web application.

“This investment aims to improve the customer experience for anyone seeking access to 12 million historic land title records,” said Mitchell Leverette, BLM Eastern States State Director. “These records are vital to nearly every decision made in the BLM’s balanced management of public lands, advancing responsible energy development, promoting conservation and restoration, and providing recreation for all. This project enhances the BLM’s capability to efficiently digitize land records and provide a complete online tool with integrated GIS features that is easy for the public, industry and our federal partners to use when making resource decisions that support hundreds of thousands of jobs and contribute billions of dollars to our nation’s economy.”

U.S. Department of Labor: Enhancing security of DOL data and applications

DOL protects millions of stakeholders and secures its digital assets against cyber threats by implementing a trust-based modern architecture, allowing access to its data and applications only to authorized users.

With a $15.2 million TMF investment, DOL proposes to accelerate the implementation and deployment of a cloud-based security framework to provide connectivity, consistent security, and optimized user experience to its employees, partners, and the public.

“This TMF investment enables the Department of Labor to more quickly reach a mature Zero Trust Architecture, a key mandate from the Cyber Executive Order,” said Paul Blahusch, DOL Chief Information Security Officer. “This project aims to protect our digital assets from increasingly sophisticated adversaries by implementing an architecture based on continuous evaluation of the trustworthiness of each connection, while enabling secure access to authorized users in the office, on the road, or at home.”

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Securing data availability and integrity

The EPA’s Analytical Radiation Data System (ARadDS) requires hardware upgrades, network security remediation, automation and IT tools, a vendor supported Laboratory Information Management System, and additional IT skill sets to address the challenges the agency faces in managing and remediating cybersecurity vulnerabilities and implementing network security processes.

With a $2.5 TMF million investment, EPA proposes to add contractor personnel and resources to modernize an aging infrastructure and bring the program into agency compliance.

“This TMF investment will provide continued operation and increased cybersecurity of the only nationwide radiation monitoring system in the United States,” said Jonathan Edwards, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (ORIA) Director. “The project addresses critical IT infrastructure modernization and security posture stabilization, and minimizes risk to the availability and integrity of data important to protecting public health and the environment.”

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Digitizing forms and personalizing experiences for better benefits management and customer support

Veterans and their families use VA.gov to access services such as health care, disability benefits, education, and pension. Many of these services are accessed via forms that are collectively used or downloaded over 2 million times per month.

A $7.4-million TMF investment aims to help the VA tackle the digitization of forms at scale using a centralized approach with improved personalization and better visualization of key information. This aims to help modernize the user experience by eliminating repetition and making clinical and other decisions easier for VA health care providers, resulting in better health and other veteran benefit outcomes.

“We’re thrilled that this support from the Technology Modernization Fund aims to build new and better ways for veterans and their families to take advantage of the benefits they have earned,” said Veterans Affairs Chief Technology Officer Charles Worthington. “Cross-agency collaboration between the VA and GSA’s Technology Transformation Services US Web Design System team can unlock value for the American people that neither agency could achieve on our own.”

The TMF now manages more than $750 million for 45 investments across 27 federal agencies. This includes two investments the TMF made in April in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to implement zero-trust solutions for networking, identity management, and security operations to improve the efficiency and integrity of government health programs serving millions of Americans, and in the Federal Aviation Administration to modernize and remediate legacy applications used to deliver administrative and mission-support services and migrate critical business applications to an advanced cloud-based platform.

The Technology Modernization Fund is working to transform the way the government uses technology to deliver for the American public in an equitable, secure, and user-centric way. The TMF invests in technology projects across government, providing incremental funding, technical assistance, and oversight throughout execution to ensure the success of its investments.

The TMF is overseen by the Technology Modernization Board, which is composed of government IT leaders representing proven expertise in technology, transformation, and operations. To date, the TMF has announced investments totaling more than $750 million. These investments have supported projects ranging from providing a single secure login experience for government websites to digitizing temporary worker visa programs and modernizing systems that support crop inspection and certification. The TMF has received $225 million through the annual budget process and $1 billion through the American Rescue Plan to fund modernization projects to date. For more information, visit tmf.cio.gov.

Read more at GSA

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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