Budget

Hurd expects Congress to restore TMF funding

Rep. Will Hurd (Photo: Robert Severi for FCW) 

Senate appropriators continue to negotiate this week over a general government "minibus" spending package that includes the Technology Modernization Fund. While talks could bleed over into next week, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas), author of the Modernizing Government Technology Act, told FCW that he expects the funding to be restored when the final package is unveiled.

"I'm pretty sure that we have resolved the issue with TMF and what the final amount is I think is going to be what we saw in the House package," Hurd told FCW on Sept. 26. "I feel good about it."

The Technology Modernization Fund still has $55 million leftover from this year's appropriations, and members of the board responsible for doling the money out to worthy agency projects have said they are getting ready to award another round of funding soon.

House appropriators sought $150 million for the fund fiscal year 2019, but the Senate zeroed out those dollars after some senators complained that the Office of Management and Budget was not being nearly transparent enough around how the board operates and how projects were being selected.

Hurd, who has had multiple meetings with his counterparts in the Senate in an effort to restore funding, said he believes those roadblocks have been largely overcome.

"Some of the concerns that led to the zeroing out of TMF have been addressed with our Senate colleagues and administration folks that were involved," he said.

Hurd's optimistic assessment echoes recent statements by members of the Technology Modernization Fund board. During a Sept. 13 public event, board members told attendees that Federal CIO Suzette Kent had been tasked with speaking to legislators, assuaging any outstanding concerns and fulfilling requests for more information.

"In terms of Suzette's [communications] on the Hill, she's gone up and told them just about anything they want to know about the fund, how it's operating, what we're doing, what we're focused on," said Alan Thomas, a TMF board member and commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service at the General Services Administration. "In my estimation, we've done all we could in that area without launching every board member out to talk to every individual member [of Congress]."

About the Author

Derek B. Johnson is a senior staff writer at FCW, covering governmentwide IT policy, cybersecurity and a range of other federal technology issues.

Prior to joining FCW, Johnson was a freelance technology journalist. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, GoodCall News, Foreign Policy Journal, Washington Technology, Elevation DC, Connection Newspapers and The Maryland Gazette.

Johnson has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Hofstra University and a Master's degree in public policy from George Mason University. He can be contacted at djohnson@fcw.com, or follow him on Twitter @derekdoestech.

Click here for previous articles by Johnson.


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