The General Services Administration’s digital tiger team, 18F, is expanding its services to state and local governments that get funding and grants from federal agencies — and bringing in new blood to head up the effort.
The team piloted the new effort in 2015 with the California Department of Social Services to modernize its Child Welfare System, a $400 million project, according to GSA. A team of digital and procurement experts from 18F worked directly with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services personnel in California overseeing the project.
HHS believes the partnership will result in big cost savings and a quicker turnaround for better child care because 18F helped the state of California rethink its approach to modernizing the system, GSA said. 18F encouraged the state to design an agile and modular system dependent on a series of smaller contracts rather than a single large, risky procurement from one vendor. The team has helped federal agencies save up to 50 percent on acquisition and development through similar consulting partnerships.
“Federal agencies already provide millions of dollars each year to fund state and local government technology projects,” GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth said in a statement. “Now even more Americans will benefit from the world-class expertise at 18F, while partnering with federal agencies that provide grants to state and local programs allows GSA to help stretch those dollars even further.”
Former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan joined 18F — now 165 members strong — to head the team’s new state and local government practice.
As a state elected official, nothing caused me to lose more sleep than launching a new website or technology platform,” Carnahan said. “Using our federal agency partnerships to give state and local officials access to 18F’s digital experts and services is a great way to help more citizens and save millions of dollars for taxpayers. It just makes sense for everyone.”