As reported by MeriTalk, GSA Director Emily Murphy spoke yesterday to the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, and much of what she said focused on the potential for shared services to modernize federal IT and business practices. As MeriTalk notes:
Murphy then delved into GSA’s work on expanding shared services across the government. She said that shared services will help “improve performance, reduce duplication, and save Federal agencies money.”
Specifically, Murphy called out GSA’s work last year with the NewPay blanket purchase agreements. GSA awarded the purchase agreements to two firms to help modernize the government’s payroll solutions. In 2019, Murphy said that “GSA is prepared to lead agencies in the implementation of these solutions in an effort to modernize legacy systems and improve service delivery to agency customers.”
NewPay is a wonderful example of agencies consolidating back-office functions through integrated contract vehicles that naturally push them toward common solutions. On the flip side are mission-focused shared services. While back-office services modernize administrative functions in government (payroll, financial management, travel management, etc.), mission-focused services look at what government needs to achieve, and helps agencies work more effectively together to yield those outcomes quicker, cheaper, and more effectively. Great examples of this include NITRC.org, which acts as a force multiplier for neuroscience researchers who receive federal funds, and MAX.gov, which aids cross-agency collaborations on homeland security, disaster preparedness, healthcare provision, and so on.
Several TCGers are volunteering with ACT-IAC to identify new mission-focused shared services that can be proposed and implemented. These include a government-wide training platform, a technology transfer portal, infrastructure permitting collaborations, property inspections-as-a-service, and data platforms and governance. To find out more about this research, contact Dave Cassidy, TCG VP and co-lead of the ACT-IAC project, on firstname.lastname@example.org.