TMF hiring new technical leads

The board of the $1 billion IT modernization fund was slogging through detailed project proposals in their spare time – now TMF is looking for help.

federal CIO Clare Martorana testifies before the Senate on Sept. 28, 2021

Clare Martorana, federal CIO and chair of the Technology Modernization Fund Board, testifies before Congress in September 2021

The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is adding three senior-level technical leads to advise on new projects and help funded programs deliver.

The TMF is a revolving fund that federal agencies can tap to support IT modernization projects outside their ordinary congressional appropriation. The fund was established under the Modernizing Government Technology Act, which passed in 2017. Projects are selected by a board made up of agency CIOs and other top technology officials.

At several recent public appearances, Federal CIO Clare Martorana, who chairs the TMF Board, has noted that board members are spending five to 10 hours a week reviewing more than 100 projects seeking funding, in addition to their own full-time positions. A $1 billion addition to the fund in March combined with a relaxation of payback requirements has made TMF more attractive to potential users.

The board announced $311 million in new awards at the end of September, including the first classified award in the four-year history of the program.

"We are picking projects that not only have the greatest chance of success, but that we can also build playbooks off of so that we can repeat," Martorana said at a Sept. 28 Senate hearing.

Now the board is seeking help drawing up new plays and executing on its current playbook.

The three new technical lead posts – called IT program managers on USAJobs -- are based at the General Services Administration, which houses the TMF, and are fairly senior at the GS-15 level with a salary range of $128,078 to $172,500 based on experience and locality pay.

The jobs are posted under "direct hire authority," meaning that TMF can tap qualified candidates without regard to existing federal employment, veteran status or other factors. There are no educational requirements associated with the job – reflecting a recent policy shift designed to give weight to skill- and competency-based assessments of entrants to the federal workforce.

The TMF board is looking for strategic thinkers, collaborators and communicators who are equally at home solving a knotty technical problem as focusing on the human elements in program design. Applicants are also expected to "advocate for and explain agile, open source, and user-centered principles" when advising agencies on how to deliver on their TMF projects.

One of the three posts requires a top secret clearance and background investigation; the other two call for a high-risk, public trust investigation but not a full security clearance. Applications for the posts are being accepted through Nov. 19, 2021.