Here’s What Technology Modernization Fund Dollars Are Doing Now

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Three projects have awarded contracts so far and two have already spent a combined $6 million to date.

As Congress agrees to bump up the ceiling on the Technology Modernization Fund by 25 percent, the board that manages the fund has released an update on the status of current projects, including how much has been spent already.

The fund—established by the Modernizing Government Technology Act—was originally allocated $100 million to support critical IT modernization efforts at agencies across government. The latest 2019 spending bill includes an additional $25 million for the fund, capping it at $125 million pending any future legislation.

Agencies tapping the fund to kickstart major projects get an infusion of money, which must be paid back within five years in order to support future projects. To date, the TMF board has awarded funding to seven projects over three rounds, with awards ranging from $3.5 million to more than $20 million. As of the seventh award, the fund has $35.8 million remaining in its coffers.

The first three projects—$20 million for a mainframe migration at Housing and Urban Development, $15 million to the Energy Department to consolidate its email systems and $10 million for the Agriculture Department to spruce up Farmers.gov—have all received their first funding installments and have signed contracts to begin the modernization work.

So far, HUD has received $5 million of the promised funding and has spent almost $4.6 million. Once the migration is complete, HUD officials expect to save about $8 million a year on maintenance costs, a portion of which will go toward paying down the TMF loan.

Agriculture has also spent some of its funding already: almost $1.4 million of the $4 million allocated to the account as of February. That money has gone toward improving the Farmers.gov site, including development of a better financial aid and payments portal.

Energy has also signed a contract and received $4 million of its award, though it has yet to report any spending to date.

All three projects are reportedly on schedule with no cost overruns, according to the board.

The second phase projects—$15 million to the General Services Administration to modernize some 88 legacy applications, another $5 million to Agriculture to adopt a shared services cloud model and $3.5 million to the Labor Department to digitize its VISA application process—have secured their awards but have yet to receive the first funding installments or pen contracts.

A seventh project was announced Monday: $20.7 million to GSA to jumpstart its pay and scheduling shared service program, NewPay.