In this special two-part interview, Maria Roat, CIO at the Small Business Administration, talks about the first meeting of the Technology Modernization Fund Board and how the fund will determine which proposals get funding.
The Technology Modernization Fund Board convened for the first time in March. This seven-person group is tasked with overseeing the $500 million central Technology Modernization Fund created by the Modernizing Government Technology Act. Maria Roat, CIO at the Small Business Administration and one of the board members, said that first meeting focused on determining how the board will operate. “Brainstorming, we went through a lot of that. Figured out what the rules of the road are for the board. Got to some consistency in how we would review, what that cadence would be during the meetings,” Roat told Government Matters. “We did look at a couple of proposals that came in during the first meeting.” How will the board decide who gets a slice of the $500 million fund? Roat said the best plans are highly detailed, and explain exactly how the money will be used. “We can’t give it all to one or two agencies, so we’re looking at that, but you also don’t want to give a big chunk of money to an agency that says, ‘In two years, we’re going to do X,’” said Roat. “We want to see that incremental path to show success along the way… prove to us what you’re doing, show us what you’re doing.”