The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) Board announced seven new awards (six public and one classified) for federal agencies to invest in zero trust networking and digital identity, standardize secure data and information sharing, and improve interagency collaboration. These are the first projects funded by the American Rescue Plan’s emergency legislation that provided $1 billion in TMF funds to address urgent IT modernization challenges, bolster cybersecurity defenses, and respond to the COVID-19 crisis. This announcement marks the seventh round of TMF awards since the Modernizing Government Technology Act established the fund in 2017.
“The $1 billion for the Technology Modernization Fund was provided in the American Rescue Plan for essential emergency relief, and is a vital part of the administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant cybersecurity incidents impacting federal operations,” said Federal CIO Clare Martorana. “The administration is maximizing the flexibility of the TMF to modernize high-priority systems, elevate the foundational security of federal agencies, accelerate the growth of public-facing digital services, and scale cross-government collaboration and shared services. These first ARP awards represent a set of strategic awards to improve technology at scale across all of these areas.”
The TMF Board prioritized projects that cut across agencies, address immediate security gaps, and improve the public’s ability to access services. Each awarded project addresses multiple funding priority categories: five of the six public awards modernize high-priority systems, five address cybersecurity, two support cross-government collaboration and scalable services, and two improve public-facing digital services. Three also respond to COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts.
“We’re thrilled to be making these first TMF awards from the American Rescue Plan. These projects will have immediate impact on federal cybersecurity and help inform future awards as we work to implement modern security principles across the federal ecosystem,” said Federal Chief Information Security Officer Chris DeRusha. “The TMF Board and GSA will be tracking the progress of these projects, capturing lessons learned, and making adjustments along the way to help them be successful.”
This tranche is directly responsive to the president’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, funding the transformation of three critical agencies in the executive branch. Between MAX.gov and Login.gov, these awards will transform authentication for the federal government through shared services, providing for easy multi-factor authentication across the board. Lastly, these awards are directly responsive to the COVID-19 pandemic that has fundamentally changed how the federal government operates and interacts with the public.
Funds for these projects will be distributed incrementally, and will be tied to performance targets and delivery milestones. The total award amount for public projects in this round is $311 million. The Board will review projects quarterly to make sure they are on schedule and milestones are met, and the program management office at GSA will provide hands-on technical support to project teams to guarantee successful execution.
- Zero Trust Networking, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Impact: Improve the security of data and privacy protections for 2 million civilian federal employees whose data is housed in the Office of Personnel Management’s systems.
- Zero Trust Architecture, U.S. Department of Education
Impact: Improve the security of data and privacy protections for the over 100 million students and borrowers the Department of Education supports.
- Advancing Zero Trust, U.S. General Services Administration
Impact: Bolster the security of GSA’s shared services that support millions of users and hundreds of facilities under the control of GSA.
- Login.gov, U.S. General Services Administration
Impact: Promote the widespread adoption of secure authentication for millions of users, allowing easy access to the services that the federal government provides, and significantly improve the security of government systems. Increase adoption of identity proofing while ensuring equitable access to government services, preventing fraud, mitigating the risk of identity theft and protecting individual privacy.
- MAX.gov Transition, U.S. General Services Administration
Impact: Improve interagency cooperation and communication, which is critical in a remote and hybrid environment, as well as support strong authentication for federal employees interacting with government systems.
- Southwest Border Technology Integration Program, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Impact: Use data and technology to more efficiently, effectively, and humanely process noncitizens encountered at our Southwest Border.
- Classified Project
Impact: All details are classified.
About the TMF: The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is an innovative funding vehicle that gives agencies additional ways to deliver services to the American public more quickly, provide better security of sensitive systems and data, and use taxpayer dollars more efficiently.
The TMF was authorized by the Modernizing Government Technology Act of 2017 and is overseen by the Technology Modernization Board, comprised of government IT leaders representing proven expertise in technology, transformation and operations. Agencies submit IT-related project proposals for the Board to review and consider through a two-phased approval process. Approved projects receive incremental funding and technical expertise to ensure project success. To date, the TMF has received $175 million from Congress to fund modernization projects; the American Rescue Plan included an historic $1 billion in additional funding for this program. For more information, visit: tmf.cio.gov.