IntelliDyne brings you a weekly digest of some of the latest news and insights about COVID-19, how federal agencies and IT officials are dealing with the pandemic, and best practices in order to bolster security and privacy in teleworking environments and encourage improved communications.
House Committee Approves Funding Increase for the Technology Modernization Fund
Funding for the governmentwide Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) was included in the House Appropriations Committee’s 2021 budget proposal for Financial Services and General Government. The vote, taken in committee on July 15, will raise funding for the modernization fund by $25 million, raising the fund’s cap to $175 million.
The TMF is a funding vehicle that gives agencies additional ways to deliver services to the American public more quickly, better secure sensitive systems and data, and use taxpayer dollars more efficiently. Agencies must submit proposals in two phases in order to qualify for funding from the TMF.
Opinion: The Pandemic Makes Clear That Access to Technology Should Be Available to All
In this opinion piece as part of the Forbes Technology Council, Eugene Xiong, founder and chairman of Foxit Software Inc, based in Fremont, California, states that web and digital technologies should be made more widely available to those with disabilities and visual impairments. Xiong explains that the federal government requires that agencies comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Xiong states: “While Section 508, for the most part, does not apply to the private sector, businesses would be wise to begin working toward digital accessibility.”
Federal Government Is Overhauling Security Clearance Process During Covid-19
Nextgov reports that the federal government is in the process of overhauling its security clearance process, and that the Covid-19 pandemic is spurring the overhaul. Our readers may recall that there was a large backlog of security clearances just a few years ago. The National Background Investigations Bureau significantly reduced that backlog in the last couple years, in part because of their use of robotic process automation (RPA), a service IntelliDyne explains on our RPA page.
The article states that senior leaders in the government are working to remake the adjudication process for security clearances using automation technology where possible.
White House CTO to Take Over Top Pentagon Tech Position
White House Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios will be taking over as acting research and engineering head at the Department of Defense, replacing departing Mike Griffin, who was the first undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. In a statement, Defense Secretary Mark Esper stated: “In seeking to fill this position we wanted someone with experience in identifying and developing new technologies and working closely with a wide range of industry partners.”
After the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Kratsios played a key role in the White House’s COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, a private-public partnership between federal agencies and private-sector agencies, focusing on using supercomputers to stop the spread of the disease.