A broad economic recovery plan released late today by President-elect Joe Biden proposes a whopping $9 billion increase to the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF), along with a host of other funding measures to upgrade Federal government technology and improve IT security following the Russian hack of thousands government and private sector networks that came to light last month.
The larger recovery plan proposed by Biden totals $1.9 trillion, and focuses largely on COVID-19 response and economic recovery.
“President-elect Biden is calling on Congress to launch the most ambitious effort ever to modernize and secure federal IT and networks,” the Biden transition team said today.
Among the Federal IT initiatives in the plan, the largest amount of funding would go to expand the TMF. The new funding boost would dwarf all previous investments made in the fund on a combined basis.
In addition, the Biden plan indicates that TMF rules – including those regarding eventual repayments to the fund – could also be loosened.
“The president-elect is calling on Congress to change the fund’s reimbursement structure in order to fund more innovative and impactful projects,” the Biden transition team said today.
“In addition to the COVID-19 crisis, we also face a crisis when it comes to the nation’s cybersecurity. The recent cybersecurity breaches of federal government data systems underscore the importance and urgency of strengthening U.S. cybersecurity capabilities,” the transition team said.
In addition to the TMF funding surge, the Biden plan offers:
- $200 million for the IT Oversight and Reform Fund targeted at the Federal CISO and the U.S. Digital Service to allow for “the rapid hiring of hundreds of experts”;
- $300 million of “no-year” funding for the Technology and Transformation Services unit within the Government Services Administration to “drive secure IT projects forward without the need of reimbursement from agencies’; and
- $690 million for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to secure civilian Federal networks and “support the piloting of new shared security and cloud computing services.”
The plan released by the Biden team today does not specify which CISA programs would receive additional funding.