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COVID-19 Relief Measure to Earmark Additional $1B for Technology Modernization Fund

House lawmakers have proposed to allocate an additional $1B for the Technology Modernization Fund as part of the proposed HEROES Act to back information technology transformation initiatives in support of domestic and overseas COVID-19 prevention, preparation and response efforts, Bloomberg Government reported Thursday.

IT modernization efforts could include electronic medical records, IT upgrades related to public health, platforms to support relief efforts, social services and welfare assistance and hardware and systems backing telehealth and telework initiatives.

The report said TMF may struggle to spend all the money proposed in the new coronavirus relief package before the funding expired by the end of fiscal year 2022.

Of the $150M appropriated for FY 2020, TMF has so far obligated $81M to modernization projects. The fund’s board has picked nine IT modernization initiatives so far, including three with the Department of Agriculture.

BGOV said TMF’s low IT spending rate could be associated with slow proposal submissions and the board’s conservative project choices to ensure that the obligated funds are repaid with savings from those modernization projects, among other factors.

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