President Trump’s fiscal 2019 budget requests funding for a Technology Business Management (TBM) program office, housed within the General Services Administration, which would be tasked with coordinating implementation of TBM across the federal government.
The plan, which was released Monday, sets aside $1.5 million and the man power of four full time employees for this purpose.
TBM, a methodology around IT savings accrued through spending transparency, is not new to the federal government. After the passage of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), which requires agency CIOs to exercise better insight into their IT investments, various parties began considering how TBM could be a complementary tool.
In May 2015 the nonprofit Technology Business Management Council formed a Federal Commission on IT Cost, Opportunity, Strategy, and Transparency “to develop TBM best practices for the U.S. federal sector.” In July 2016 the council — comprised of both federal IT leaders and private sector experts — released a report detailing 21 recommendations for “improving transparency, reducing waste and increasing efficiency and value from IT spending while accelerating the implementation of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA).”
One suggestion, made to the Office of Management and Budget, was that it should “consider designating a center of excellence for TBM nationally.”
“In particular,” the report continued, “the OMB should consider the GSA for the TBM center of excellence. The GSA is the first major U.S. federal agency to implement the TBM taxonomy, cost modeling, reporting, and metrics. In doing so, the agency is paving the way for other agencies to do the same.”
In July 2017 OMB held a White House summit on TBM, which included speakers like the Office of American Innovation’s Chris Liddell and others. According to a CIO Council blog post, “the Summit communicated the Administration’s expectations for adopting Technology Business Management across the Federal government.”
Now, with the new budget request, the Trump administration is pushing the ball still further forward on TBM.
“This tool will help the government benchmark IT spending utilizing a standard framework,” the FY 2019 budget request says of TBM. “In addition it will allow the government to leverage its buying power to ensure it is delivering the most business value while delivering quality services.”