Five members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee are lobbying the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and General Services Administration (GSA) to develop a plan for prioritizing technology projects that are ripe for s of the billion dollars provided to the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) under the American Rescue Plan Act.
Committee members — including chair Caroline Maloney, DN.Y. and government operations subcommittee chair Gerry Connolly, D-Va. — asked Acting OMB Director Shalanda Young and Acting GSA Administrator Katy Kale in a letter dated today for a TMF spending plan, and advocated for adjustments to the current reimbursement obligations imposed on agencies that receive money from the fund.
“As the pandemic has demonstrated, IT is an integral part of the federal government’s mission,” the MPs said. “Oversight of how these funds will be prioritized and allocated, including how the funds will be subject to the reimbursement model currently required by law, is necessary to protect this important investment of taxpayer dollars.”
Committee members said the current five-year TMF repayment model is important because it keeps the fund self-sustaining, but they also said they “understood” during the American Rescue Plan Act legislative process that the existing reimbursement model “would need to be relaxed” in order “to ensure the most immediate and efficient investment of the TMF’s $1 billion allocation”. However, such relaxation of repayment obligations was not included in the bill.
With that in mind, the letter asks the OMB and GSA to produce for the government operations subcommittee a spending plan for the TMF’s new $1 billion funding, and “to include details on the how the $1 billion will be at least partially subject to repayment requirements.”
In particular, committee members want the spending plan to include: how the TMF program management office plans to expand to handle a higher volume of project requests; how the TMF board could encourage “submissions from agencies with the greatest IT modernization needs”; and a discussion of the different criteria that can be used for projects that will require full repayment by borrowing agencies, versus projects that may not.
The letter also asks the GSA and OMB to provide the subcommittee with a briefing by May 7 “to discuss the development and release of the plan.”
Representatives Eleanor Holmes Norton, DD.C., Jamie Raskin, D-Md. and Katie Porter, D-Calif, also signed the letter.