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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

TMF Invests in Improving Public-Facing Services, Bolstering Cybersecurity

These investments add to the TMF’s rich experiential data set of agencies tackling similar modernization issues.

The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) announced Wednesday investments that will modernize services, improve customer experience, and strengthen cybersecurity. An investment in the Department of Labor (DOL) will help to modernize how employers access permanent labor certification services, and will create a more seamless visa processing experience. With TMF support, AmeriCorps will replace a 20-year-old system with a new integrated system that allows the agency and its partners to better focus on serving local communities. And an investment in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will reduce the cyber risks associated with the agency’s global mission, and will improve user experience for its workforce.

The latest tranche of TMF investments – the first since the $100M designation to improve public-facing digital services – advances the federal IT operating plan’s digital-first customer experience and cybersecurity goals, while continuing to support the American Rescue Plan’s intent and investment priorities. These investments add to the TMF’s rich experiential data set of agencies tackling similar modernization issues, and expands the cohort of agencies addressing those issues together.

“The TMF provides critical funding to address urgent IT modernization and cybersecurity challenges across the federal government,” said TMF Board Chair and Federal CIO Clare Martorana. “The investments in DOL, AmeriCorps, and USAID will modernize outdated systems, accelerate implementation of zero trust architecture to address immediate cybersecurity gaps, and enhance public-facing services in order to provide simple, seamless, and secure access to government services.”

“The TMF continues to make smart technology investments to modernize IT systems, safeguard sensitive data, and provide the American taxpayers with efficient, effective access to necessary services,” said TMF Executive Director Raylene Yung . “These investments demonstrate the federal government’s commitment to transforming the way agencies use technology while improving the end-user experience.”

How these investments will modernize services and secure assets:

New Community Grant Management System at AmeriCorps

More than 2,800 nonprofit, faith, and community-based organizations that provide invaluable services in more than 40,000 community locations rely on AmeriCorps’ grant system to manage their federal grant awards. The current system, developed in 2002, is no longer fit for its purpose and restricts AmeriCorps’ ability to meet its mission, keep pace with the current grant-making standards and technical needs, and appropriately steward agency resources. With a TMF investment of $14 million, AmeriCorps will replace its antiquated system with a modern platform that allows the agency and its partners to better focus their efforts on improving the communities they serve.

“AmeriCorps is grateful to receive funding from TMF to modernize our information technology infrastructure,” said AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith. “This funding directly impacts our ability to meet our mission by upgrading our grants management system and improving outreach to organizations and volunteers at the local level.”

Integrated Visa Processing at the Labor Department

The $7.2 million TMF investment will improve DOL’s permanent labor certification services, helping to increase efficiency, improve customer experience, and address fraud and security risks overall.

“Our nation can be stronger and more prosperous when our immigration system functions in the most fair, orderly, and efficient manner, and this investment of TMF funding will help us deliver on that commitment,” said Brian Pasternak, Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification. “By integrating the permanent labor certification process into the Foreign Labor Application Gateway, which uses GSA’s Login.gov, we will make it easier, faster, and cheaper for employers to access permanent labor certification services and create a more seamless immigrant visa processing experience.”

“The Department has developed a close working relationship with the TMF with past TMF awards and appreciates the opportunity to build technologies that ease the burden on U.S. employers,” added Department of Labor Chief Information Officer Gundeep Ahluwalia.

Boosted Security for USAID’s Global Assets and Workforce

A TMF investment of $5.6 million will extend and enhance security controls throughout USAID’s distributed network,providing a greater degree of protection for the agency’s cyber assets, and improving the work experience of 13,000+ end users around the world. This will be accomplished by consolidating identities, modernizing authentication, providing password-less technology, and expanding the agency’s secure work for “anytime, anywhere” access. Advancing the development timeline, USAID anticipates over 50% of its users will be transitioned to a new identity management system by FY 2024.

“TMF funding will allow USAID to accelerate its zero trust initiative across an ‘anytime-anywhere’ organization of over 13,000 end users worldwide, improve customer experience, and reduce mission risks as it helps execute the Administration’s foreign assistance and development priorities,” said Paloma Adams-Allen, Deputy Administrator for Management and Resources.

All agencies plan to repay the TMF in alignment with repayment guidelines by the end of FY 2028. These latest actions bring the total of TMF investments to 29 ongoing projects, with well over half a billion dollars now invested.

For more information, visit: tmf.cio.gov

Read more at GSA

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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