GSA, HUD Partner In Centers of Excellence Initiative
September 25, 2018
Sprint-based discovery phase to assess pressing IT challenges, solutions
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced they are teaming up for a discovery sprint as part of GSA’s Centers of Excellence (CoE) initiative. The purpose of the CoE initiative is to accelerate the modernization of information technology (IT) across the federal government by leveraging private sector innovation and existing government services while centralizing best practices and expertise. By bringing the CoE model to HUD, GSA will utilize the expertise of the Technology Transformation Services (TTS) team within GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) to begin a comprehensive assessment of the IT needs and challenges facing the department.
“Secretary Carson and his team are committed to utilizing the Centers of Excellence approach - and GSA’s expertise - to make interactions with the American people more seamless and effective,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy. “Today’s announcement further demonstrates the strength, success, and momentum that the CoEs have already brought to bear in less than a year. I couldn’t be more excited to build upon the work we have begun with USDA by implementing these best practices at an agency as customer-focused and citizen-facing as HUD.”
“I’m thrilled HUD is teaming up with GSA to transform this agency into a more effective and efficient servant on behalf of the American people,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “This is an important moment for HUD as we embark upon a campaign to modernize our aging technology and bring true financial integrity to everything we do.”
“Applying these successful business management principles to our operations and modernizing our technology infrastructure will transform this agency,” said HUD Chief Operating Officer Ralph Gaines. “We thank GSA for launching this important initiative and partnering with HUD to make our federal government more accountable to taxpayers.”
“With GSA’s help we will transform how HUD operates across our agency and within our programs,” said HUD Chief Financial Officer Irv Dennis. “This first phase will help us identify the upgrades we need to bring our technology systems and accounting procedures into the 21st century. Overall, this is a great initiative we see often in the private sector and not often enough in the federal government.”
“In partnering with GSA's CoEs, HUD’s business needs are our primary focus,” said HUD Chief Information Officer David Chow. “This first phase of the CoE will be led by program office experts with full IT support to streamline business processes and enhance taxpayers’ overall experience.”
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. Through the CoE initiative, HUD will examine its technology infrastructure and operating procedures to identify needed upgrades and opportunities for improvement. These changes will help the agency in its goal to strengthen the housing market for people at every income level and to improve quality of life for current and future HUD program participants.
The CoE initiative was formally introduced through a Request for Information (RFI) issued on October 20, 2017. Beginning with the first lighthouse agency, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), each CoE tackles distinct tasks, beginning with an assessment and planning phase that results in the development of a roadmap for the successful implementation of managing centralized, function-specific talent, solutions, and acquisition vehicles. They also provide for documented and scalable best-practices that can be rapidly spread to, and adopted by, other agencies throughout the government.
Following an industry day at the White House in December 2017, GSA moved quickly to finalize an Interagency Agreement with USDA and later issued solicitations for its Phase I strategy and consulting work. As part of Phase I, CoEs worked with USDA to strategize IT modernization efforts. Work will continue at USDA, with the announcement of Phase II awards expected in the coming weeks. GSA finalized its Interagency Agreement with HUD this week.