IT Modernization

Federal CIO says cybersecurity is a top priority for new TMF projects

customer experience (garagestock/Shutterstock.com) 

Clare Martorana, the recently installed federal CIO, said on Tuesday that the government was looking for cybersecurity upgrades and digital services as key focus areas in allocating the $1 billion addition to the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) included in the American Rescue Plan Act.

Martorana described the new TMF funding as "the greatest opportunity" for agencies to deploy modern technology and improve cybersecurity at a conference hosted by the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC).

Though some agencies were already addressing issues like modern infrastructure and zero trust, Martorana noted that "many other agencies are just starting with scalable cloud solutions and being able to use commercial platforms and reusable services."

Martorana also shared details about the new guidelines and relaxed payback rules for cyber upgrades funded through TMF after the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration announced earlier this month that an updated model will allow agencies to address technology modernization efforts without always having to adhere to the strict reimbursement requirements initially attached to the fund.

"We need to stay focused on privacy and security. That is an expectation that we all have as leaders in government and that our customers expect," Martorana said. "Making data shareable, adopting common standards and improving data management are just going to be mission critical for many years to come."

The TMF board is currently accepting candidate proposals for priority consideration by June 2, 2021. On Tuesday, Martorana said the team was using a publicly available framework published on the TMF website for proposals to begin evaluating projects.

About the Author

Chris Riotta is a staff writer at FCW covering government procurement and technology policy. Chris joined FCW after covering U.S. politics for three years at The Independent. He earned his master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he served as 2021 class president.

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