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Rich Beutel, principal at Cyrrus Analytics and Mike Hettinger, president of Hettinger Strategy Group, discuss what Congress should prioritize in this year’s appropriations process, and why they need to take another look at the Technology Modernization Fund.

The Senate passed the two-year budget deal, guaranteeing funding for programs across the government. Now Congress must appropriate the funding through a series of other bills. Rich Beutel, principal at Cyrrus Analytics, says that one thing Congress needs to look at is the Technology Modernization Fund.

 

“We talk a lot about IT modernization and the need for government to transition off of its antiquated legacy IT systems. One thing that we have been paying attention to is the MGT act and the lack of core funding to incentivize agencies to go forward,” Beutel said. “We were pleased to see that OMB is offering budget language to four agencies to move them towards working capital funds, which is a key central element of it.”

 

Mike Hettinger, president of Hettinger Strategy Group, says that guaranteeing the funds solvency is imperative.

 

“We started this debate at $3 billion. Even at $3 billion, we knew we needed more. I heard [Carol Harris’] comments and I think 4, 5, or $600 million would be a nice push, to say, ‘Yes, we’re going to use this program. Yes, we’ll leverage the Technology Modernization Fund government-wide,’” Hettinger said. “The biggest challenge with the TMF is the pay back. Agencies are reluctant to use it, concerned about how they might pay it back. Maybe we need to tweak that to get agencies to really engage on TMF.”

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