The Alliance for Digital Innovation said that “current funding levels will not be enough to provide an on-going, modern, and customer-centric digital experience,” called for in the customer experience executive order, and urged the administration to replenish the Technology Modernization Fund and the Federal Citizen Services Fund to support improved CX.
More sustainable funding for the Technology Modernization Fund and other initiatives will be needed to fully implement a recent executive order meant to improve government service delivery for Americans, says the Alliance for Digital Innovation, a trade group representing managed services companies that do business with government.
The order outlined both specific, short term projects meant to be done within a year, as well as “high-impact service providers” within government that provide critical services to citizens. Those agencies will have specific performance measurements and improvement plans.
The White House has said that the action items included in the order will be done with “existing resources” including agency resources and those like the U.S. Digital Service, a tech shop in the Office of Management and Budget.
In a letter sent Monday to the Office of Management and Budget, though, the alliance wrote that while it applauds the “direction and vision” of President Biden’s recent order, implementing it will take more money in the Technology Modernization Fund and the Federal Citizen Services Fund (FCSF).
“The current investments in the Technology Modernization Fund and the Federal Citizen Services Fund are being allocated to a mix of enterprise upgrades and citizen facing technology needs,” the letter states.
“With the identification of key services provided by 35 High-Impact Service Providers, the current funding levels will not be enough to provide an on-going, modern, and customer-centric digital experience. The administration must work with Congress to provide significant resources, through funds like the TMF and FCSF, to effectively upgrade and continually improve these important digital life experiences,” it continues.
In other news, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) dimmed hopes for one potential source of additional TMF funding over the weekend, when he said that he would not vote for the Biden administration’s Build Back Better bill, which includes billions for IT modernization. That would include $250 million for TMF and another $200 million for the FCSF.
TMF got a $1 billion infusion from the American Rescue Plan Act earlier this year.
Last month, the General Services Administration announced $150 million in projects being funded by the FCSF via an appropriation in the American Rescue Plan Act.
Other items called out by the alliance in the letter include the implementation of the 21st Century IDEA Act, a 2018 law meant to modernize agency websites that’s seen sluggish implementation. The letter also called out the need for more investments in cybersecurity and the government's IT workforce.
The IDEA Act was the focus of a separate Dec. 20 letter that ADI signed onto with the Software Alliance and the Software and Information Industry Association, where they urged OMB to issue implementation guidance for the law "so that agencies have the funding and clarity necessary."
OMB has previously told FCW that the agency "recognizes the importance of the 21st Century IDEA" and "continues to explore and support additional steps to improve and advance digital service delivery and customer experience across the federal government."