The Technology Modernization Fund today announced a round of new funding awards totaling $20.8 million to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

And in a somewhat unusual move for TMF – which typically supports modernization funding for Federal civilian agencies – the fund said it will provide an undisclosed amount of money to the U.S. Army for cybersecurity-related purposes.

HUD will receive $14.8 million to move legacy systems to a cloud-based platform to allow integration of Federal Housing Administration Connection (FHAC) systems with the platform operated by the General Services Administration (GSA) and used by numerous Federal agencies. TMF said the investment will “improve customer experience by creating self-service registration capabilities for users, organizations, and application administrators.”

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“Tens of thousands of external users engage with HUD’s current FHAC components,” commented Beth Niblock, who is CIO at HUD. “Yet, our current systems are over-extended, redundant, and poorly integrated. The modernization of FHAC will give FHA-approved lenders and business partners secure access to the services they need,” she said.

OPM will receive $6 million to update technology behind, and content on, the website, and allow the agency to put in place an updated and more secure cloud-based content management system.

“A user-friendly website plays a critical role in OPM’s mission to communicate the Federal government’s policies, services, and benefits more clearly and effectively,” commented OPM Director Kiran Ahuja. “This investment will improve the government’s ability to recruit job seekers, supply the Federal workforce with relevant career-related information, and make it easier for public servants to manage their benefits,” she said.

Finally, the Army will receive an undisclosed amount of TMF funding for a “critical infrastructure cyber protection project” involving “organic industrial base (OIB) sites” including depots, arsenals, and ammunition plants. “This project will heighten cyber capabilities and establish a Security Operations as-a-Service framework that ensures cyber defenders can monitor, respond, and remediate cyber threats,” TMF said.

“Funding from the TMF will help the Army to address this critical and urgent need as much as two years earlier than waiting for agency funding to become available through the regular budgeting process,” commented Army CIO Dr. Raj Iyer.  “For the Army and its partners, this project will modernize and improve our cybersecurity posture and enhance the command and control of critical OIB,” he said.

“If we are going to deliver digital transformation for the American people in our lifetimes, we must think and work differently across the Federal enterprise,” said Federal CIO Clare Martorana, who chairs the TMF Board.

“The investments in OPM, HUD, and the Army will address immediate security needs and enhance customer experience and business operations by modernizing outdated systems – expectations we must be able to meet for our customers,” she said.

“With these new investments, the TMF now has a portfolio of 31 investments totaling over half a billion dollars,” commented Raylene Yung, TMF’s Executive Director.

“But beyond funding, we’re working closely with our partners to provide them with expertise and support while also empowering their own teams to execute these projects in a way that ensures maximum benefits for the public,” Yung said.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.