Mike Hettinger, President of Hettinger Strategy Group and Rich Beutel, Principal at Cyrrus Analytics, discuss the future of the Technology Modernization Fund, and the need for transparency in its awards.
The Senate passed a minibus spending bill on Wednesday that included funding for the Interior Department, Financial Services, and a general government appropriations package. A notable omission from the Senate version of the bill is additional money for the Technology Modernization Fund. Because the House version included this extra TMF money, The House and Senate will have to go to conference. Mike Hettinger, President of Hettinger Strategy Group, says that the reason for this is because the Senate version focused on the provisions the Appropriations Committee wanted. “They’ve taken the House bills, brought them to the Senate floor, essentially gutted them and added the bills that the Senate Appropriations Committee passed. That’s why there’s no funding for the TMF,” Hettinger said. “Right now, you still have $150 million in the House bill and zero in the Senate.” Rich Beutel, Principal at Cyrrus Analytics, LLC, says that if the final bill provides zero funding, there is not much that agencies could do with the remaining TMF money. “$55 million is not a lot of money in the broad stroke. But remember, agencies appear to be moving fairly slowly on establishing their own agency-specific working capital funds. Which is really the center of the virtuous cycle of innovation that the MGT act was designed to create.”