IT Modernization

White House preps to change the way agencies go online

connections into the cloud 

A new path to the internet is coming for federal agencies.

Federal CIO Suzette Kent approved a draft revision of the federal government's longstanding Trusted Internet Connection policy, which dates back to 2007.

The draft is set to be published in the Federal Register on Dec. 17. The revised TIC is the last of 52 tasks mandated by the 2017 White House Report on IT Modernization, Kent said at the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center's (ATARC) technology modernization summit on Dec. 13.

The policy update will help support the migration to cloud, Kent said. With the new TIC in place, "agencies are preparing for work in 2019 as they now have a clear policy path," said Kent.

The federal CIO's office recently put out an updated data center optimization policy draft and a revised policy on ID management. The Office of Management and Budget also recently released updated guidance on identifying and protecting high value assets.

Kent cited progress in cloud adoption. In the last year, she said, cloud email migration among agencies went from 40 percent to 70 percent.

"Thirteen agencies are at 95 percent or better. Only a couple are still in the planning phase. We will be spending time with them next year," Kent said.

The Technology Modernization Fund board has received 40 proposals seeking $400 million and made six awards to agencies, she said.

The coming year, said Kent, will build on that modernization momentum. Shared services will see a "big push," as will efforts to develop a cohesive data strategy that looks to harness data drawn from all agencies to common purposes, she said.

The TMF is ready to review a candidate for its seventh award, Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Alan Thomas said on a later panel at the ATARC event. Thomas, a TMF board member, said an agency (which he declined to name) could get funding for a shared services application that other federal agencies could tap in the future.

Don't sleep on network modernization

The General Services Administration extended the deadline for agencies to move their telecommunications services to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract. While agencies have up to three more years to develop and implement their plans, officials have cautioned that those seeking an extension better have plans that include IT modernization.

OMB Federal Deputy CIO Margie Graves, who was also at the ATARC event, was enthusiastic about the shift, saying it could help fuel modernization. However, in remarks to FCW, she warned federal agencies not to be complacent about the new deadline.

"Do not mistake the extension for an opportunity to have the same conversation two years from now," she said. "Agencies should stay on track with acquisition" processes she said, getting their initial EIS requests for proposals out, then working with vendors on solving some of their more difficult issues down the road.

Correction: This story was updated Dec. 14 to indicate that the Technology Modernization Board is meeting next week to review a proposal, not to announce an award.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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