The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) got a $1 billion boost in March’s American Rescue Plan, and the TMF board saw a massive influx of TMF requests that it has been working on adjudicating. At a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing today, Federal chief information security officer (CISO) Chris DeRusha updated senators on the status of that extra TMF funding.

DeRusha said the board is preparing to release its first round of TMF funding awards, after receiving over 100 requests totaling more than $2.3 billion in funding requests. DeRusha said of the requests, around 75 percent of those centered around cybersecurity.

“The need is clear,” DeRusha said. “As the board prepares to release its first-round rewards for this emergency funding, we are focused on learning what works well for one agency and translating that to successful outcomes for all. These are challenging times to manage cybersecurity for any enterprise.”

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As the board gets ready to release a round of awards, the TMF program could potentially be in line for another big funding boost. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., has added an amendment to the House’s version of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that would give the program another $1 billion in funding. That package is currently stalled while House and Senate Democrats work to reconcile differences in opinion in how to proceed.

DeRusha said that now is the time to push for bold solutions to problems, rather than look to maintain the status quo.

“It is not the time for us to maintain a steady force,” DeRusha said. “We need to embrace bold ideas, we need to form enduring partnerships, and above all must act with a sense of urgency.”

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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