GSA Awarded $15 Million for Technology Modernization

The Technology Modernization Fund Board and awardees from GSA, DOL, and USDA.

It’s an exciting time at GSA!  We recently received a $15 million award from the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) to upgrade the applications and infrastructure we use every day and improve our experience with our IT systems.

The TMF is helping agencies transform the way they use technology to further their mission and provide services to American citizens in a timely and secure manner. The Fund was established by the Modernizing Government Technology (MGT) Act of 2017 to provide incremental funding and technical expertise to innovate and reimagine the delivery of federal IT projects.

In fiscal year 2018, the TMF received $100 million to fund modernization projects, and the FY 2019 President’s Budget requests an additional $210 million. We are honored to be selected by the Technology Modernization Board, led by Federal CIO Suzette Kent, to undertake this critical initiative and play a leadership role in IT transformation across the government.  

I recently participated in an interview where I was asked to share my thoughts on how the TMF is changing federal IT modernization, as well as how we plan to use the funds to address our technology needs. Here are some questions that I recently received on my experience with the TMF.

1. Why did GSA IT decide to submit a proposal to the Technology Modernization Fund?

There were a number of strong incentives for GSA IT to submit a project to the Technology Modernization Board. The fund allows GSA to pay for the project by meeting major milestones and receiving incremental transfers from the TMF. Complete repayment to the TMF is not due for five years after the final transfer, so GSA will have the flexibility to continue to invest in new IT modernization projects, create operational efficiencies, and leverage savings achieved through these efficiciences to pay back the fund.

2. What is the expected impact of the $15 million award?

GSA has nearly 90 applications that are in need of modernization. This project will allow GSA to conduct a pilot for application modernizations and to transform legacy, proprietary software into open source technologies. This transformation will simplify integrations with other systems; enable greater agility, resiliency, scalability, and performance; allow GSA greater flexibility in recruiting talent; and in the long term, lower the cost of operations and improve the quality of the applications.

3. Will the results from this project benefit only GSA, or will they extend to other agencies across the federal government?

This funding will give GSA a greater ability to service its mission by making it easier to access actionable business information and expand the use of more flexible open-source technologies, which will benefit the American people. Because of GSA’s vital role for driving innovation across the government, this modernization effort will benefit not only GSA, but other federal agencies as well. We will generate a playbook that can be put to work in other agencies that are facing similar technology challenges.

4. How does the TMF process compare to other investment processes?

The process to secure Technology Modernization Funding enhances cross-agency collaboration and consensus in the investment process. The CIO, CFO, and an agency leadership sponsor co-create and agree upon the goals, costs, and milestones of the proposal before submitting the package for consideration. Furthermore, the TMF process is a more agile and iterative than traditional investment procedures. Project funding is tied to milestones; in order to receive the next tranche of funding, project teams must prove that the technology solutions they build are viable, on schedule, and within budget.

5. What was your experience pitching to the TMF Board?

The TMF pitch was made up of a 10 minute presentation and a 20 minute question and answer session with the Board. This was a great opportunity to highlight the most important parts of the project, and the areas that would have the greatest impact on GSA, the federal government, and the American citizens. The group giving the pitch was able to prepare for the presentation through several preparation sessions with the TMF PMO.