GSA’s 5-year plan prioritizes digital government

The General Services Administration (GSA) Headquarters building, where the Washington presidential transition offices for US President-elect Donald Trump are located, are seen in Washington, DC, November 21, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

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The General Services Administration listed digital government as one of four strategic goals in its five-year strategic plan released Thursday.

Technology Transformation Services and the Office of IT Category, with support from the Office of Government-wide Policy, will be leaned on to deliver more trusted, accessible, user-centered technologies to federal agencies from fiscal 2022 to 2026.

The strategy is predicated on the view that GSA must help agencies rebuild public trust through digital services, after legacy systems and inequalities hindered government’s pandemic response.

“Technological advances offer unprecedented opportunities to deliver services more efficiently and effectively while saving taxpayer money,” writes GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan, in her letter of introduction. “In this moment of change, GSA is uniquely positioned to help our customer agencies deliver for the American people by providing critical tools, systems, solutions and expertise at the best value.”

TTS and OGP, together with the office of Customer Experience and GSA IT, are expected to implement equitable design practices in projects like improving vote.gov by increasing access to voting requirements and documents in many languages and formats.

GSA intends to request amendments to Federal Citizen Services Fund appropriation language so services are reimbursable and the spending cap increased for high-impact projects.

The agency is also developing a roadmap for its USA.gov redesign, which will improve users’ ability to navigate government benefits, services and programs by consolidating content like that found on Benefits.gov and Grants.gov. OCE and the internal Digital Executive Board will simultaneously improve the digital literacy of website managers, and more resources will be dedicated to the Digital Analytics Program to increase agencies’ understanding of how users’ are using their sites to access government services.

TTS will increase agencies’ use of shared technology solutions by spearheading the creation of a market development and partnerships capability featuring a market-sensing initiative, according to the strategy.

GSA plans to increase reuse of authorized cloud products, and reduce digital threats in the process, by expanding the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program.

The agency will also increase agencies’ adoption of Login.gov and modernize federal rule-making management systems by streamlining workflows and improving data analysis.

Together TTS and OGP will employ a venture studio-esque model within the former to scale reimagined innovations governmentwide.

“This approach would help to launch innovative offerings and sustain them by providing resources and creating a clear, repeatable model for growing new ventures,” reads the strategy. “It would focus on high-impact digital transformation projects spanning multiple agencies and/or the public.”

GSA also wants to deepen the technological acumen within innovation accelerators like 18F, the Centers of Excellence, Presidential Innovation Fellows and 10x.

Elsewhere in the strategy the Federal Acquisition Service is tasked with ensuring agencies’ full adoption of the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract for telecommunications and IT modernization, which has become a moving target for government, by fiscal 2024.

Insights from GSA’s Workplace 2030 project will be used to develop new telework offerings for agencies like Home Office in a Box.

FAS and OGP will also streamline acquisition systems through the modernization of the Contract Acquisition Life-cycle Management (CALM) system, create a single experience for all GSA-assisted acquisitions by merging Assisted Services Shared Information System (ASSIST) legacy applications, automate error-detection bots, and improve the management of data on more than 50 million products and services through Catalog Management. FAS delivered $84 billion in IT governmentwide in fiscal 2021, and will work with OGP to increase agencies’ adoption of IT modernization offerings the next five years.

Polaris awards are now on hold following BD Squared’s pre-award challenge of the $15 billion governmentwide acquisition contract — intended to increase agencies’ partnerships with small business IT service providers — but GSA plans to continue developing the vehicle.

The strategy directs OGP to build on the work of more than 30 Communities of Practice (CoPs), some geared toward innovation and emerging technologies, that GSA manages and six unnamed CoPs in particular.

“For FY 2022, GSA has identified six CoPs to achieve key milestones or quantitative performance outcomes,” reads the document.

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digital services, EIS, Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions, Federal Citizen Services Fund (FCSF), Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, General Services Administration (GSA), login.gov, Modernization Special 2022, Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP), Office of Information Technology Category (ITC), Polaris, Robin Carnahan, Technology Transformation Services (TTS), USA.gov
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