The TMF office offers agencies more project support

Written by Dave Nyczepir

According to Executive Director Raylene Yung, the Technology Modernization Fund’s Project Management Office has spent the last year involving its technical experts more in post-award agency projects.

Experts in customer experience (CX), cybersecurity, procurement, acquisition, and financial operations not only review TMF funding applications now, but answer agency questions throughout the lifecycle of the project.

The Project Management Office (PMO) has begun fostering TMF microcosms around specific project types, beginning with the first allocations of the billion dollars injected into the fund by the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act passed in March 2021 .

“We ideally see ourselves as an extension of the agency,” Yung told the Daily Scoop Podcast. “So if they’re having difficulty, if they have questions about customer experience, user research, sourcing, or acquisition, we can either provide that support or connect them with resources that can help them.”

The three agencies that run zero-trust security projects funded by TMF’s board in the fall meet regularly as a cohort, and the PMO shares best practices from other awardees through benchmarks. information and office hours.

An “Expression of Interest” form allowing agencies to more quickly submit ideas to the PMO was introduced with the announcement that $100 million in TMF funds would be earmarked for high-impact service providers with innovative CX projects, Yung said. The decision to allocate TMF funds for the first time was partially inspired by the CX Executive Order released in November and the second pillar of the President’s stewardship program.

“We felt it was important to focus some of the funding available through the TMF under the US bailout specifically to ensure that we provide tools that work for all Americans,” said Clare Martorana. , Federal Director of Information. “He’s a bit of a pilot for us.”

Yung hopes to award all of the ARP funding by the end of the year with about half the billion dollars already invested and projects worth hundreds of millions more currently being evaluated.

Initial project proposals for ARP funding seemed “a bit rushed” and lacked client partnerships, but more recent proposals show signs of staffing, executive support and the ability to prototype quickly, Martorana said.

The PMO now monitors project metrics like time savings and improved workflows.

Just because the Government Accountability Office supported the decision of the TMF board to require only partial or minimal repayment of funding from certain agencies does not mean that the solvency of the fund is not a priority for officials. Repayment usually begins 12 months after the first transfer of funds, released gradually to avoid frontloading of projects.

Of the initial 11 projects to receive TMF funding, two agencies — the U.S. Department of Agriculture and General Services Administration — have repaid the fund, and five others have completed their projects and are in the process of repaying.

“Reimbursement is key,” Martorana said.

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