WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, along with Committee Members Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jamie Raskin, and Katie Porter sent a letter to Shalanda Young, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and Katy Kale, Acting Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA), requesting that the Administration develop a plan for prioritizing projects to fund with the $1 billion Congress appropriated for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) in the American Rescue Plan.
“As the pandemic has demonstrated, IT is integral to the federal government’s mission,” the Members wrote. “Oversight of how these funds will be prioritized and allocated, including how the funds will be subject to the reimbursement model currently required by law, is necessary to protect this significant investment of taxpayer dollars.”
The legislation that established the TMF uses a reimbursement model that was intended to make the TMF self-sustaining. But the pandemic has demonstrated the need for some flexibility in reimbursing the TMF fund, to enable expedited funding and to promote the funding of projects that make IT systems more secure, but may not yield immediate financial returns. The Members seek to ensure agencies are required to reimburse the fund when appropriate — so the federal government continues to have a pool of funding available to modernize federal IT in perpetuity.
“Although that requirement could not be retained in the budget reconciliation process, we strongly urge the Administration not to let the reimbursement model atrophy during the expenditure of the investment made by the American Rescue Plan,” the Members added.
In addition, on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. E.T., Chairman Connolly will hold a Subcommittee hearing that will discuss the need for the Administration to invest more resources in programs that fund federal IT modernization efforts, like the TMF.
The Members request that OMB, in collaboration with GSA and the TMF Board, produce a plan to Congress that details how the $1 billion appropriated to the TMF in the American Rescue Plan will be prioritized and spent. Further, to ensure the self-sustaining model of the TMF is preserved, the Members urge OMB to include details on how the $1 billion will be at least partially subject to the reimbursement requirements.
Click here to read today’s letter.