TMF seeks agency proposals to accelerate AI rollout across government

The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is looking to invest in projects that will accelerate the rollout of artificial intelligence tools across the federal government.

The TMF program management office is seeking agency proposals that will advance the goals of President Joe Biden’s executive order on the “safe, secure and trustworthy development” of AI in government.

The General Services Administration, which houses the TMF PMO, announced Thursday that the TMF board will give an expedited review to agency AI proposals seeking $6 million or less and for projects that will take 1.5 years or less to complete.

Federal Chief Information Officer Clare Martorana, the TMF Board chairwoman, said the administration has identified more than 700 use cases where AI is being deployed across government.

Those AI use cases include helping cyber forensic specialists detect anomalies and potential cybersecurity threats in federal civilian networks and mitigating prescription drug shortages and supply chain issues.

“As one of the world’s largest enterprises, the federal government has an obligation to harness the power of AI for good while protecting people from its risks,” Martorana said in a statement.

“Use of the TMF has the potential to accelerate AI usage in government and unlock the innovation that we know we are capable of delivering for the public,” she added.

Larry Bafundo, the TMF’s acting executive director, said the AI executive order’s emphasis on investing in AI through the TMF “speaks to the administration’s strong commitment to responsibly explore the potential of AI innovation to enhance and optimize government service delivery.”

“We’re excited to partner with agencies with the aim to enable rapid deployment, process automation, delivery of assistive technology, better customer experience, and reduced administrative burden for staff,” Bafundo said.

The TMF so far has received $225 million through congressional funding and $1 billion through the American Rescue Plan to back IT modernization projects.

The White House last month, in a 90-day update on the president’s AI executive order, said the TMF board has evaluated ways to prioritize agencies’ adoption of AI through the governmentwide IT fund.

Meanwhile, the Office of Personnel Management recently launched a large-scale, governmentwide hiring action to bring more data scientists into government service.

The TMF last month announced it’s investing more than $70 million in a new wave of IT projects to modernize legacy IT and enable a higher level of customer service.

Among those projects, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division received $45.5 million to upgrade its IT systems.

GSA got $19.7 million to modernize IT systems that serve as the foundation of the online rulemaking process. It expects to use the funding to help transition its eRulemaking Program to a modernized architecture.

The TMF has also invested more than $6 million into the Armed Forces Retirement Home to implement a modern interoperable electronic health record system.

The TMF has also backed customer experience improvements across the government.

The Office of Management and Budget announced in June 2022 that the TMF would award $100 million to projects that cut wait times for public-facing federal services, as well as excessive paperwork and other barriers.

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