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Revitalizing the Technology Modernization Fund: A Legislative Facelift for Innovation!

by Tech Desk
1 minutes read
Revitalizing the Technology Modernization Fund: A Legislative Facelift for Innovation!

According to a report, the Government Technology Modernization Act, which is considered the most significant federal IT law of the past decade, is set to be renewed. Rep. Nancy Mace (RS.C.), chair of the Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, IT, and Government Innovation, will introduce the MGT Reform Act today. The bill aims to extend the Technology Modernization Fund Board through 2030 and tighten some of the repayment language for TMF “loans” or investments.

One notable change in the proposed legislation is eliminating OMB’s ability to grant agencies a waiver that would allow them more than five years to repay loans. Additionally, it requires sufficient funding from agencies to keep the TMF operational until December 2030. These changes address issues related to repayment flexibility and ensure greater visibility and accountability in how agencies make payments.

The bill also emphasizes that TMF investments should focus on projects with the greatest impact on modernizing or replacing legacy federal information technology systems. This clarification aims to reinforce the fund’s purpose of fixing broken systems rather than building new ones.

Despite these updates, House and Senate lawmakers have shown less support for TMF in recent spending bills for 2023 and 2024. Senate appropriators rescinded $290 million from TMF in their draft General Government and Financial Services bill for 2024, while the House Appropriations Committee reduced funding for next fiscal year to zero. However, there was a $50 million allocation from Congress in 2023.

To enhance supervisory authority over projects funded by TMF, a provision has been added to give explicit authority to terminate or suspend projects if fraudulent or misleading statements are identified in project proposals. This provision addresses concerns raised by previous problems with platform business case.

The MGT Reform Act also includes a requirement for agencies to submit an inventory of their legacy and high-risk IT systems by September 30th. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will compile this inventory and present a list of the top 10 systems with increased operational, security, and privacy risks to Congress by December 30th. This requirement aligns with previous efforts by Sen. Maggie Hassan to address technical debt.

However, the bill misses an opportunity to tie TMF funding directly to the systems listed in the IT inventory. While OMB is required to highlight the top 10 systems needing attention, there are no provisions ensuring that TMF funds are allocated accordingly.

Directly, the MGT Reform Act does not introduce transformative changes but reinforces certain aspects of the MGT Act that needed attention. It clarifies language and expectations while aiming for greater oversight and accountability. However, some critics argue that more significant challenges in federal IT investments should be addressed instead of focusing on limited political capital.

The verdict, the proposed legislation seeks to renew and strengthen the Government Technology Modernization Act by extending the Technology Modernization Fund Board through 2030 and tightening repayment language. The bill also emphasizes prioritizing projects that modernize or replace legacy IT systems. While it addresses some concerns, there are ongoing debates about funding allocations and ensuring effective oversight of federal IT investments.



This article is based on information from Federal News Network’s report on Congress’ plans to renew the Government Technology Modernization Act. For more details, refer to their article at

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