The Office of Management and Budget has called on lawmakers to increase the $50 million Congress has proposed adding to the Technology Modernization Fund as part of the fiscal 2022 appropriations process.
The proposed figure, which is 90% less than the $500 million initially sought by the Biden Administration in April, was included in an appropriations bill drafted Monday by the House Committee on Appropriations. The legislation has now been passed to the full House for consideration.
“The Administration appreciates the funding provided in the bill for the TMF and urges the Congress to provide the full $500 million requested in the FY 2022 budget,” said OMB, adding that the TMF has received more than 100 proposals from agencies, totaling over $2.1 billion in requested funds.
TMF was authorized by Congress in 2017 and provides funding that agencies can apply for to support their modernization projects.
OMB ‘disappointed’ by State, NIST proposals
In addition to its comments on TMF funding proposals, OMB said also it is “disappointed” by Congress’ plans to provide the State Department’s Capital Investment Fund (CIF) with just $275 million, below the $449 million previously requested.
“The budget requested a substantial increase for CIF to address the national security threat posed by increasing cyberattacks. Notably, the bill fails to include $101 million to safeguard the Department’s cybersecurity infrastructure in direct response to the SolarWinds incident,” OMB said in a statement. “While the bill authorizes up to $150 million in transfer authority from the diplomatic programs account to the CIF account, no additional funds were provided in the DP account that would allow for the effective use of this authority.”
The State Department’s CIF was established by Congress in 1994 to ensure the efficient management and coordination of IT resources. According to State’s fiscal 2022 budget request justification, extra funding is needed for its CIF to tackle key areas of concern, including cybersecurity event logging, cyber incident response, and cloud security.
OMB has also called on lawmakers to expand funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which currently stands at $125 million above fiscal 2021 spending. This is well below the $462.7M sought to grow funding for nationally critical mission areas and expand NIST’s manufacturing programs.
“[T]he Administration urges the Congress to provide the full FY 2022 Budget request for Manufacturing USA institutes. The Administration believes that a comprehensive manufacturing strategy is crucial to bringing jobs back to the United States, and that the Manufacturing USA institutes play a critical role in that effort,” OMB said.