Federal IT spending is projected to exceed $93B next year, TMF Board awarded funding for GSA’s cloud-based payroll system, and DoD is considering the recommendations of the Section 809 Commission. All this and more in Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for February 15, 2019.
Bloomberg Government (BGOV) analysts forecast that the federal government will invest more than $93 billion in information technology programs if current spending trends continue across agencies. “Based on historical spending trends, we’re looking at between $93 and $94B in an IT budget, about half of which will go to civilian agencies and the other half will go to the Pentagon,” Chris Cornillie, a BGOV federal market analyst, was quoted as saying. He added the government may continue to increase spending on artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and digital services in the current fiscal year as part of modernization efforts.
In its third round of funding, the Tech Modernization Fund (TMF) Board has issued a single $20.7 million award to the General Services Administration (GSA) to accelerate development of its modernized payroll shared service, NewPay. NewPay is a cloud-based payroll and personnel system to be used governmentwide as a shared service. This is now the seventh modernization project to receive TMF funding, bringing the grand total awarded to $90 million of the $100 million appropriated for the fund in fiscal 2018.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at encouraging government contractors to “buy American” as part of the administration’s efforts to boost U.S. manufacturing. The new order asks federal agencies to encourage those who receive federal financial assistance for infrastructure projects to use American materials and products, including iron, steel, aluminum, and cement. Peter Navarro, the director of the White House National Trade Council, told reporters ahead of the signing that the order had spurred a $24 billion increase in the purchase of American-made products and driven U.S. government spending on foreign goods to its lowest point in 10 years.
The Air Force’s (USAF) top acquisition official wants to train some program managers to better understand the world of software, and he’ll soon work with the service’s Education and Training Command to make it happen. At the same time, Will Roper, the Air Force’s assistant secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics, wants software experts in the service to act as coding ambassadors to oversee some aspects of a program as systems are procured and developed. “We train people to be acquisition professionals and we call them materiel leaders and senior materiel leaders. We have certifications that say you can have this much control, we don’t have that for software,” Roper told reporters at the Pentagon.
The Department of Defense (DoD) is considering putting the recommendations of the Section 809 Commission into practice. Assistant Secretary for Defense Acquisition Kevin Fahey said his office is looking to scrap DoD 5000 acquisition requirements to come up with something more useful for software buying.