OMB setting up program management office for interagency collaboration tool

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The Office for Management and Budget is establishing a program management office for a new interagency collaboration tool, the deputy federal CIO has said.

Speaking on Wednesday at Fedscoop’s FedTalks, Maria Roat outlined the next steps for the pilot program, adding that interagency programs and partnerships are “laying the foundation” for future of the federal government.

The tool is officially known as the CIO Council Interagency Collaboration Tool and includes a chat function and the ability for staff from different agencies to share documents.

“[Next] we are standing up a project management office to manage the rollout and continue to bring on other agencies and departments and integrate multiple platforms as part of the long-term vision on this,” said Roat.

OMB has been working to launch such a collaboration tool for over a decade, but previous attempts have failed, in part because of the need for agencies to sign onerous data sharing agreements for every separate aspect of data sharing projects.

This latest pilot project is different, according to Roat, because it includes a single data agreement for all participants. Federal departments involved in the pilot project so far include the Small Business Administration, the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and NASA.

The launch of the scheme has been spearheaded with support from the CIO Council, which last year took on the task of helping to set up a cross-government employee collaboration tool.

I have been after this for a long time – for the ability to chat with someone not in my department,” added Roat.

Program management offices have been used by federal agencies since about the early 2000s. The concept originated in the private sector and is typically used to manage services that are shared across multiple business units of an organization.

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Department of Education, Federal CIO Council, NASA, National Science Foundation (NSF), Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Small Business Administration (SBA)
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