Page 8 - FCW, September/October 2021
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$800M in fiscal 2022 funding for CISA is proposed in the House version of
the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Act
Some states to
OPM looks for ways to fund IT
allow digital driver’s
The Office of Personnel Management said it needs substantial funding to finish modernization projects such as upgrading retirement systems and migrating agency websites to the cloud. Officials are considering creating a working capital fund in accordance with suggestions from outside experts.
OPM included its comments about IT modernization in its
report to Congress in
response to a Nation-
cal 2022 through 2026 and its annual budget development process.
The NAPA study suggested that OPM prioritize IT modernization and seek funding from Congress to develop an employee digital record, upgrade the IT for federal retirement programs, enable a modern data analytics plat- form and make its website more user-
friendly. OPM’s report notes that “the ultimate funding needed is substantial.”
NAPA recommended that Congress allow OPM to establish an IT working capital fund to “enable a more flexible and account- able internal process for funding IT operations and maintenance.”
In response, OPM said that it will look to “establish a sustainable funding and staffing model for OPM that better allows the agency to meet its mission” by iden- tifying “alternative funding sources” that are “separate and distinct from the dis- cretionary budget request process.” In addition, it will consider the need for “inno- vative funding flexibilities”
Several states will soon allow their resi- dents to securely add a digital driver’s license or state ID to the Wallet app on their iPhone or Apple Watch, Apple announced in September.
Arizona and Georgia will be the first to offer the feature, with Connecti- cut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Okla- homa and Utah to follow. To enable the feature, iPhone users scan their driver’s license or state ID card and then take a selfie. Both images are sent to the state that issued the ID to verify the information. Users will also be instructed to complete a sequence of facial and head movements dur- ing the setup process as an additional security measure.
Once the user’s identity is verified, the digital ID will be added to the customer’s Wallet, an Apple app where users can store credit cards, transit passes and
tickets. However,
implementation may be more complex than Apple suggests, said Armen Najarian, a security researcher at
Outseer, an RSA company. “Digitizing state identification will
be convenient for consumers and pres- ents an opportunity to reduce common fraud, like identity verification and reducing the use of fake IDs,” Naja- rian said. “But it also opens another door for personal information to be compromised. As more states consider allowing personal identification to be digitized like this, it’s imperative to pri- oritize even stronger account takeover controls to keep bad actors at bay.”
— Shourjya Mookerjee
al Academy of Public Administration study that was mandated in the wake of the failed attempt by the Trump administra- tion to merge OPM into the General Services Administration.
NAPA’s study con- cluded that OPM should remain independent and take a more prominent role in setting human resources policy for the federal government. The organization recommend- ed a range of improve- ments, including IT mod- ernization.
“The NAPA study unequivocally affirms the need for a strong, independent and well-resourced OPM.”
— Kiran Ahuja, Office of Personnel Management
September/October 2021 FCW.COM
In the report to Con-
gress, OPM Director
Kiran Ahuja wrote: “The NAPA study unequivocally affirms the need for a strong, independent and well-resourced OPM. Our response demonstrates our broad agreement and deep engagement with the study’s findings. Our response also highlights OPM’s commitment to innovation and delivering results, from hiring for critical skill sets to identi- fying new strategies for employee engagement, retention and quality-of- life improvements.”
Ahuja also said the agency incorpo- rated its responses to the NAPA study into its four-year strategic plan for fis-
such as an IT working capital fund or the Technology Modernization Fund administered by GSA and the Office of Management and Budget.
OPM officials also want to improve the quality and use of the federal workforce data under its purview by expanding accessibility. For retirement services, the strategy is to upgrade user interfaces, modernize system compo- nents and enhance data integration. OPM also plans to modernize USAJobs to give users the ability to customize job searches.
— Natalie Alms

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