cloud processes (Omelchenko/

Cloud-based payroll system gets modernization funding

The federal government's decades-old payroll systems are getting a $20.7 million infusion from the Technology Modernization Fund.

The funding, announced Feb. 11, follows a push to pay about 800,000 federal employees after a 35-day government shutdown that led to problems in deductions and missed payments for some workers across multiple payroll systems.

NewPay, a software-as-a-service program hosted by the General Services Administration, aims to make a commercial, cloud-based payroll and work scheduling and leave management solution available to agencies across the federal government.   

The funding will allow GSA to move payroll operations out of its data center in Kansas City, Mo., and to the cloud-based solution "as a single effort" according to a summary of the project on the TMF website. Moving to the cloud will also increase efficiency and security of government back-office operations and eliminate expensive legacy systems, it said.

"As the last proposal accepted in 2018, the Board believes the NewPay proposal is a critical step forward to transform an antiquated technical and operational process," Federal CIO Suzette Kent in a statement.

With the award to GSA, the TMF Board has allocated almost $90 million of its original $100 million in funding to seven projects. The NewPay award ranks among the largest. Other sizable awards include $15 million to the Department of Energy to consolidate email systems and $20 million to Housing and Urban Development to move legacy servers to the cloud.

The fund, authorized by the Modernizing Government Technology Act, is intended to be paid back by recipients out of savings to support future projects. Congress appears set to add $25 million to the revolving fund for fiscal year 2019.

This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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