The Technology Modernization Fund Board awarded $9 million for two projects modernizing systems and protecting personal data at the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission and the Selective Service System on Monday.
PRC will use the $2.6 million it receives to modernize its website and systems for improved public participation and oversight of the U.S. Postal Service, while SSS will use its $6 million to bolster cybersecurity around the personal information of tens of millions of Selective Service registrants.
The latest round of TMF funding targeting small agencies comes after the American Rescue Plan infused $1 billion into the fund to address urgent IT modernization and cyber challenges, a process that began with the award of $311 million across seven projects at five agencies.
“This funding will allow the PRC to modernize internal and public-facing tools and give their customers a better digital experience,” said Clare Martorana, TMF Board chair and federal chief information officer, in an announcement. “And it will allow SSS to move quickly to scale technical operations to meet the nation’s needs through a cloud-first software and data architecture that protects the data of millions of customers.”
TMF funds will be distributed to both agencies incrementally as they hit performance targets and delivery milestones assessed at quarterly TMF Board reviews. PRC will initially receive $2 million and SSS $1.8 million.
The TMF Program Management Office and General Services Administration will provide technical support to project teams until the projects are completed.
Smaller agencies, in particular, benefit from the TMF’s flexible funding model because they generally lack the budgets and technical staff to sustain transformative initiatives.
The SSS’s project involves migrating Registration, Compliance and Verification (RCV) software, a high-value asset, to the cloud for increased security and an improved user experience. RCV will be continuously available from redundant locations and use advanced data analytics for decision making while increasing the protection for personally identifiable information and reducing maintenance costs.
PRC’s oversight of USPS has grown more complicated due to the pandemic, workforce shortages and supply chain disruptions hindering mail delivery and increasing traffic to PRC’s website and docket system. The 20-year-old docket system, with its antiquated data environment and analysis tools, is at imminent risk of failure.
The agency intends to replace its systems with cloud-based applications: a new website, docket system and data management system for faster data analysis and reduced operation and maintenance costs.
“GSA supported the commission with a program management team that helped us through every stage, from initial proposal creation to evaluation before the TMF Board,” said Erica Barker, PRC secretary and chief administrative officer, in a statement. “The TMF investment will accelerate the deployment and scaling of key initiatives, helping the commission meet its mission of ensuring the transparency and accountability of the Postal Service to the American public.”