A broad economic recovery plan released on January 14th by President Joe Biden proposes an unprecedented $9 billion increase to the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF), along with other funding measures to upgrade Federal government technology and improve IT security following the discovery of a Russian hack on thousands of 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 Biden is calling on Congress to launch the most ambitious effort ever to modernize and secure federal IT and networks,” said Biden’s team.
Among the Federal IT initiatives in the plan, the largest amount of funding would go to expand the TMF. The new funding boost is larger than previous investments made in the fund combined.
The Biden plan also indicates that TMF rules – including those regarding eventual repayments to the fund – could be loosened. “The president is calling on Congress to change the fund’s reimbursement structure in order to fund more innovative and impactful projects,” said Biden’s team. “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.”
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’
- $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.”
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