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GSA Digital Services Group Charter

GSA Office of the Chief Information Officer

November 19, 2012

1. Need, Purpose, Scope

GSA's Office of the Chief Information Officer, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, and Office of Communications and Marketing have recognized the need to collaboratively manage the strategic development and delivery of digital services at an enterprise level. Today’s mix of cloud computing, ever-smarter mobile devices, and collaboration tools is changing the consumer landscape, presenting enormous opportunities and challenges. New expectations require GSA to be ready to deliver and receive digital information and services anytime, anywhere, and on any device. It must also do so safely, securely, and with fewer resources.

Customers expect high quality products and services that are easy to access, understand and use, and are consistent across all channels.  Through the use of mobile technology and web APIs to expose high value data, third parties should be able to innovate and create solutions using GSA-provided data and content.

Digital Services are how GSA provides an online experience to users interacting with GSA in every business line – from buying products and services to leasing office space to understanding the government-wide policies, best practices and lessons learned. A digital service includes all interactions that are online or use digital media and channels, including Internet (websites, online chats, emails) and phones. To better serve GSA's myriad of complex customers in its widespread business solutions, GSA needs an integrated, robust digital strategy to ensure delivery of a consistent, world class customer experience in all our digital services, across all delivery channels and GSA organizations.  

Excellence in digital services will provide federal agencies, citizens, and other customers with a better experience when accessing GSA products and services, enabling more effective, more efficient achievement of mission objectives and other desired results.

Currently, the quality and experience across GSA’s digital services, is not consistent. If it were, GSA could realize a reduction in cost of digital services development and ongoing operations, an improvement of quality of service in enterprise applications, an improved customer experience, and improved decision-making.

To achieve these benefits, GSA needs an integrated, robust digital strategy that ensures the delivery of a consistent, world class customer experience in all our digital services, across all delivery channels and GSA organizations. This requires cooperation from the business units to (1) identify business needs that can be met through digital services and (2) execute projects in accordance with GSA’s digital strategy. The Digital Services Group (DSG) will be formed as a subordinate board under the Enterprise Architecture Committee (EARC) to meet that need.

The expectation is that this group will not only be strategic in considering the digital services needs of the agency’s external and internal customers, but also tactical; projects will be spun off of the group frequently, meaning that this group will build business value on a regular basis.

The purpose and scope of this group will be both strategic and tactical. The group will identify what business needs we are meeting and the solutions we are providing through digital services on behalf of the business lines, prioritize DS investments, identify areas where overlaps and redundancies can be eliminated, achieve consistency and leverage resources across the GSA enterprise. Additionally, it will identify projects that strengthen the foundation of the technologies and activities that GSA digital services. The scope of this group does not include the execution of those projects, whether internal to the SSOs or within OCIO. In general, the projects will go through the usual processes to be funded; often, the DSG will link into existing or already planned activities at the OCIO or SSO level and members of the DSG will be involved in those projects.

2. Authority

The DSG has the authority to implement the policies, guidance and standards set by OMB in the Digital Strategy. The DSG has the authority to develop enterprise standards for digital services based on input from the lines of business, define digital services, and identify opportunities to improve the customer experience across GSA through improved digital services. The DSG will identify and recommend an enterprise digital strategy and the associated initiatives that need to be undertaken to accomplish the strategy. The group will be the steward of the delivery of high quality digital services (i.e., usefulness, usability, enterprise value and consistency with all GSA digital services) to ensure success in mission accomplishment across GSA.

The DSG reports to the Enterprise Architecture Committee (EARC). The DSG will provide recommendations to the EARC, ITEC and IRB when necessary.  In addition, when necessary, it will invoke an Executive Advisory Committee comprised on the heads of Services and Staff offices for Strategic Digital Services advice and approval.

3. Background

This charter establishes the GSA Digital Services Group (DSG), a panel composed of key digital services leaders from across the General Services Administration’s (GSA) services and staff offices, and identifies the process and roles necessary to achieve the GSA digital strategy goals.

4. Mission

The mission of the DSG is to improve the operations of the GSA through better delivery of digital services, support innovation of GSA information by GSA partners, and enable consistent customer experience-based decision-making within the agency.

The overall scope of this effort is to support GSA and to improve the delivery of digital services by realizing the following objectives:

  • The creation and management of artifacts (documents, diagrams, and otherwise) representing the living enterprise digital services
  • The establishment of a digital services service level agreement framework which considers usefulness, usability, enterprise value and consistency across all GSA digital services
  • The establishment and communication of digital services standards and principles
  • Partnership with business owners of digital services to support development of digital service requirements and solutions
  • The chartering of digital services projects (planned to be continuous)

5. Functions

The strategic focus of the DSG (meeting discussions, work products and deliverables) will be centered on the following key areas, since these distinct areas are the driving force behind the need for this DSG:

  • Customer Experience
  • Information
  • Presentation
  • Shared Platforms

Functional responsibilities of the DSG are as follows:

  • Establish appropriate digital service management standards, governance and architecture and evolve those as necessary,
  • Identify opportunities for digital service projects to be executed within OCIO or other SSOs,
  • Improve and streamline communication between the OCIO and the points of contact within the SSOs to identify digital service solutions relevant to the enterprise, and
  • Share information on and seek leveraging opportunities involving digital service efforts and needs within the SSOs.

6. Key Stakeholders

The stakeholders for digital services include:

  • OCIO IA: Application developers benefiting from authoritative data
  • GSA SSO IT Managers: Reduction in data management responsibilities and costs of data integration
  • Executive Decision Makers: the GE-DMWG will enable data-driven decision-making
  • Business Owners: The owners of business processes and applications in the SSOs that use, define, or own enterprise data
  • Enterprise Architecture Committee: Parent board for this working group
  • Enterprise Applications and Services Committee: Implementation of enterprise applications using enterprise data will be governed through this committee

7. Membership

The SSO attendees of the DSG should be familiar with the digital services that exists or can be developed within their organization. They should be decision-makers who can agree to the solutions being developed, accept responsibility for the delivery of digital services within their organization, and support the incorporation of digital service components from other lines of business into the delivery of their digital services; it is accepted that the membership may return to their lines of business to assess the impact of decisions made within the DSG. They should also be able to identify business SMEs within their organizations that can be consulted to develop the digital services delivery strategies of the GSA as necessary. The DSG will be led by the GSA Digital Strategy lead.

List of Members

  • Chair: Martha Dorris, OCSIT Deputy Associate Administrator
  • OCM: Sarah Hyder, Director, Enterprise Web Management
  • OCM: JR Wycynski, Public Affairs Specialist
  • OCSIT: Sheila Campbell, Director, Center for Excellence in Digital Government
  • OGP: Martha Przysucha, Director, Policy Liaison and Outreach
  • OCIO: Monica Fitzgerald, IT Project Manager
  • OCPO: Peter Russelburg, Chief of Staff
  • OCPO: Jeffrey Long, Human Resources Specialist
  • OCFO:
  • OSBU: Christy Jackiewicz, Acting Chief of Staff
  • FAS: Patrick Donovan, Office of Strategic Innovations
  • PBS: Johnson Payne, Process Technology Manager

Secretariat Support: To be provided by OCIO

8. Meetings

The DSG will schedule meetings on the fourth Wednesday of every month. However the meetings will only take place if a specific action will be met. A week prior to a planned Digital Strategy meeting, the Chair will solicit topics for an agenda, create an agenda and forward it to the group. Each meeting will be tied to specific outcomes for that meeting, whether they are decisions, products, or agreement on direction.

Additionally, the DSG group on the GSA Chatter instance will be an open forum for discussion of digital service issues which will be monitored by members of the DSG. That group should foster both exchange of ideas around digital services, but also as a location in user interest in specific projects to execute around the delivery of digital services.

The GSA DSG will:

  • Identify an individual that will fulfill the role secretariat for all meetings and, at the direction of the DSG chair, manage the annual schedule and meeting agendas;
  • The DSG chair will work with the secretariat to create meeting agendas and verify all needed materials for the meeting are available and distributed prior to the meeting, when possible;
  • The DSG chair will forward strategic recommendations for action to the Executive Advisory Group for discussion and recommendations to the EARC, ITEC and IRB.

9. Reports and Records

The Executive Secretariat maintains the records of the DSG activities including minutes, records of decisions and recommendations. The Executive Secretariat is responsible for administrative matters, including documentation and tracking DSG actions and recommendations.

Reporting and record keeping will be as follows:

  • Agendas and presentation materials will be distributed before each meeting, whenever possible.
  • Minutes containing the salient points and action items from the meeting will be documented and distributed to the team.
  • Each meeting will include a review of the status of all open actions, and end with next steps.

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