The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) said today it awarded $10.5 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the agency to implement the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Login.gov single sign-on technology across multiple VA websites.
GSA said the project will “take three steps towards the implementation of a single modern, inclusive and easy-to-use sign-in service at VA.”
Those steps include supporting a “seamless transition” of VA users to login.gov, creating an “in-person identity verification option for Veterans unable to sign up online,” and then launching a pilot project to “use physical security keys for multi-factor authentication, improving accessibility, equity and security.”
In total, the project “will modernize the sign-in experience at VA.gov and MyHealth.VA.gov, allowing eligible Veterans to digitally access benefits and services more reliably, equitably, and securely,” GSA said.
The award from TMF – which was created to fund Federal agency IT modernization projects with money from outside of the annual appropriations process – lines up with multiple goals set forth by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for investing the $1 billion provided to TMF under the American Rescue Plan Act, including working to improve cybersecurity and delivery of citizen services.
“Our nation has a sacred obligation to care for our Veterans and their families, and this investment will help the VA deliver on that commitment,” GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan commented. “By offering a single sign-in solution and giving Veterans an in-person identity verification option, we will make it easier and more secure for them to access the services they deserve,” she said.
“For many years our Veterans have had to use multiple user names and passwords to access their benefits online leading to a frustrating and fractured experience for the people who have given their all in service to our country,” Federal CIO Clare Martorana, who also chairs the TMF Board, said. “This TMF investment will enable our Veterans to access their digital benefits and services in a simple, seamless, and secure way while making it easier for the VA workforce to serve them.”
Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough said, “we want Veterans to easily and securely access the care and benefits they’ve earned, and implementing Login.gov creates a trusted government credential to do that.” He added, “as Veterans transition to civilian life, Login.gov lets them safely access many government benefits and services online and in-person.”
In its budget request released last month the Biden administration asked for $300 million of additional money for TMF in Fiscal Year 2023 – an amount that would backfill most of the $320 million that the fund had awarded to Federal agencies since it received its $1 billion infusion in the American Rescue Plan Act last year.
In the budget request, GSA indicated that it planned to make substantial new TMF awards by the end of September – constituting the majority of its remaining American Rescue Plan Act infusion, and perhaps totaling in excess of $350 million.
In TMF’s first round of funding awards following the infusion last year, login.gov received an award of $187 million.