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Admin Officials on Agencies’ Individual Working Capital Funds for IT Upgrades

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The Modernizing Government Technology Act passed in 2017 requires federal agencies to come up with internal working capital funds to support information technology modernization initiatives and administration officials said agencies are having difficulty establishing those funds, Nextgov reported Wednesday.

Margie Graves, federal deputy chief information officer, said some agencies had working capital funds but lacked authority to reprogram money towards the fund.

Suzette Kent, federal CIO and a 2019 Wash100 award winner, said working capital funds enable agencies to keep the money over multiple years even if the funding was originally intended for use within a fiscal year. “The real staying power is in the working capital fund. That is the thing that is going to last. That is the thing that helps us create a more modern and nimble government going forward,” Kent added.

The Small Business Administration has earmarked $6M for its working capital fund using a congressional authority that permits SBA to redirect toward the fund up to 3 percent of money from other accounts.

“We’ve put money in it; identified six areas around agency enterprisewide modernization activities where we’re going to focus the money; and then, right now, we are working on our governance for the IT working capital fund,” said SBA CIO Maria Roat.