TMF investments to modernize campaign finance software, tribal school websites, HR system

GSA's Robin Carnahan called on Congress to provide resources to the TMF in the announcement.
Robin Carnahan, administrator of general services in the Biden administration, delivers remarks at the naming ceremony for the Department of Transportation building on May 09, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Updating federal campaign finance reporting software, modernizing tribal communities’ school websites and streamlining human resources information systems are among the new investments announced Tuesday from the Technology Modernization Fund.

The announcement of the $31.66 million funding round — to the Federal Election Commission, the Department of Interior and the Department of Energy — came with a warning from the General Services Administration. 

“It is essential that Congress provide resources to allow the TMF to continue to meet the growing demand for investments which address constantly evolving technology needs, threats and advancements so that government can deliver better for the American people,” GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan said in a press release. 

The funding plea from Carnahan follows a similar call from TMF board chair and federal CIO Clare Martorana, who asked Congress in April to “please fund the TMF.” In March, lawmakers clawed back $100 million from the TMF. 


The House, meanwhile, passed a bill last month to enhance TMF procedures and extend its sunset date. The revitalized Modernizing Government Technology Reform Act from 2017, co-sponsored by Reps. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., Gerry Connolly, D-Va., and Ro Khanna, D-Calif., was amended to impose additional constraints on reimbursements to provide agencies with flexibility for repaying the fund. 

As the House legislation waits for a Senate companion, TMF leaders trumpeted the latest round of funding, with Martorana saying the FEC, Interior and DOE investments “demonstrate a commitment to using technology as a force for positive change — increasing government transparency, improving access to human resources data, and creating more equitable opportunities for underserved communities.”

The FEC, for example, has legacy software that operates only on Windows-based PCs that are not compatible with other operating systems, hindering the accessibility and security of those using non-Windows-based machines. With an $8.8 million investment, the FEC is looking to modernize its FECFile Online software, making it cloud-based and web-accessible for filers so that it “improves data quality and enhances security.”

Meanwhile, schools funded by Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education — which includes both BIE-operated and tribal-controlled schools — lack websites or “operate with an outdated online presence.” The $5.86 million awarded to BIE is meant for a website modernization project to “bridge the digital divide” between these schools and other educational institutions, as well as providing parents and guardians with access to crucial information concerning school-related activities and announcements.

Lastly, the DOE received $17 million to transition away from its “outdated HR infrastructure” to better support the agency’s workforce and curb risks that the current technology poses. DOE’s HR system, which is set to be replaced by a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, saw its last “significant investment” about two decades ago, according to the GSA. The modernized approach aims to improve data integrity, accessibility and reduce time, while the agency  anticipates that the automation of processes “will drive cost savings.”


Larry Bafundo, acting TMF executive director, said in a statement that people are “at the heart of every TMF investment.” 

“The TMF, and the agencies we partner with,” he added, “are devoted to making improvements to services, systems and programs that make government more accessible for everyone, from federal workers supporting clean energy to children attending schools in underserved areas.”

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