The Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) said today it will make $14.6 million of new funding awards to build and improve digital services at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board (RRB).

The latest TMF funding awards are part of a larger customer experience allocation investment of $100 million announced earlier this year by the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration (GSA), which administers the TMF.

“The American public deserves to have a simple, seamless, and secure experience when they interact with their government. These investments represent the TMF’s commitment to helping agencies improve the ways they interact with the American public and better deliver the services identified in the President’s Executive Order,” said TMF Executive Director Raylene Yung.

One investment of $5.9 million will go to USAID to develop and launch a new enterprise-wide customer relationship management system. The new IT platform will coordinate USAID’s work with businesses, foundations and philanthropic organizations, academic and research institutions, public interest organizations, and more.

The agency’s current approach relies on a patchwork of disconnected systems, standards, and business processes across different initiatives and offices worldwide. It also burdens both USAID staff and partners with information silos, duplicative work, and inefficiencies.

“This will enable us to collaborate more effectively and readily innovate with our partners as we tackle climate change, bolster the global food security system, support burgeoning democracies, and respond to disasters and humanitarian emergencies,” said USAID Deputy Administrator, Paloma Adams-Allen.

The second investment, totaling $8.7 million, will be allocated to the RRB to implement new online self-services for railroad retirees so they can obtain answers faster in accessing the benefits and services.

“This investment will vastly improve the annuitant, beneficiary, and active railroad employee experience with the RRB while saving time and reducing costs for the agency,” said Terryne Murphy, chief information officer for the RRB. “It will save time for our customers and eliminate the uncertainty of application statuses, reduce call wait times, and avail more RRB staff hours to address complex beneficiary requests.”

Specifically, the online self-service platform will allow the agency to address critical customer experience challenges by redirecting frontline customer representatives’ efforts toward handling more complex beneficiary requests, and allowing customers to update their personal information through new online self-services.

“With our investments in USAID and RRB, the Federal Government is signaling a shift to a product mindset, one where we put our customers at the center of everything we do and use technology and design to deliver a better customer experience,” said Clare Martorana, TMF Board Chair and Federal CIO.

“By ensuring technologists are partnering with agency subject matter experts and leadership teams from the beginning, the Federal Government can deliver experiences on par with our country’s most recognizable consumer brands,” she said.

Read More About
More Topics
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.