GSA Begins Standardization of Processing Payroll with Launch of NewPay

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The federal employee is at the heart of all we do. 

The Federal Acquisition Service’s Quality Service Management Office for Civilian HR Transactions and NewPay Program Management Office wants to drive greater accuracy in federal civilian employee payroll and work schedule leave management (WSLM) calculations, and greater security and agility in the application of technology to support changing needs of the workforce. As a federal employee’s professional journey evolves, their payroll/time and attendance services evolve with them. That’s our vision.

The HR QSMO/NewPay PMO has worked tirelessly these past couple of years to deliver the minimally viable product (MVP) version of GSA’s NewPay offering. This is a solution that all agencies can rely on to deliver payroll in a timely, reliable and consistent manner to the federal government’s 2.2 million civilian employees.

NewPay represents a major advancement in the federal government’s approach to implementing shared services and solutions. It is the first system to use a configurable, secure, commercial off-the-shelf-based (COTS-based) software as a service (SaaS) platform to perform a government-wide function. As a result, NewPay will maximize the government’s ability to leverage commercial offerings and shared service providers while reducing reliance on customized platforms that leave the government prone to higher maintenance costs, obsolete technology/business models and cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Most notably, NewPay is the first payroll innovation since 2003 when the federal government consolidated 26 payroll providers down to four. That was almost two decades ago! Can you imagine keeping the same laptop or the same cell phone for almost 20 years? Since that time, payroll systems have been aging and becoming increasingly costly to maintain. The HR QSMO/NewPay program offers a new way to think about and execute payroll/WSLM processing.  Both the technology and the capabilities stay current to support employees' needs today and into the future.

While it has been a busy couple of years, let’s not forget how we arrived at this point. The NewPay solution was developed as the first step in the modernization of federal human capital management IT, based for the first time on the use of government-wide payroll data standards. GSA awarded a blanket purchase agreement in 2018 to configure COTS-based SaaS solutions capable of managing time reporting and payroll across the federal government’s 65 most common pay plans. The NewPay technical MVP delivered in September 2020 is capable of handling payroll operations for 87-89% of the federal workforce. The NewPay Team used masked data from GSA to test 12 pay plans including the general schedule, thus making the technical MVP currently available to support approximately 1.6 million federal civilian employees.

One of the team’s early achievements during this process was strengthening partnerships with key stakeholders to understand and meet their needs in order to provide a consistent customer experience. A key feature of NewPay is the application of consistent data standards across the federal government. We regularly collaborated with the Office of Personnel Management’s HR Line of Business, the existing payroll shared service providers and other key federal stakeholders through working groups and policy discussions to develop these data standards. Having a standards-driven product will make it easier for agencies to address current challenges such as exchanging data and generating consistent payroll and time reports, which agencies find challenging in the current environment. We understand the complexity of payroll issues agencies face and are determined to find solutions. 

NewPay’s value and impact on the government's payroll processes will continue to evolve. As a secure SaaS solution, NewPay will provide constant modernization and hardware and software updates, allowing the government to shift the responsibility for technical operations and maintenance to innovative commercial providers. It will enable agencies to support tasks and core mission priorities that really matter. Although we are focused on delivering technical products, we are even more focused on building a hub where employees experience and receive seamless, consistent payroll and WSLM services regardless of where they work or change jobs. 

NewPay is the new way to modernize how the federal government processes payroll and time and attendance by aligning policy, processes, data standards and technology to enhance payroll calculation precision and facilitate a more consistent user/employee experience. Our dedicated team has proven that we have the right talent to support this initiative to fill a critical gap in the federal ecosystem. Join me in celebrating this accomplishment and join me on the journey to make NewPay a flagship offering in our HR QSMO marketplace.

About the HR QSMO/NewPay PMO

GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service Quality Service Management Office for Civilian HR Transactions and NewPay initiative is a part of the broader President’s Management Agenda shared services portfolio. Our mission is to demonstrate the application of standards and employ the use of innovative technology to modernize payroll and work schedule leave management (WSLM) processing,  and create opportunities for economic efficiencies, and reduce cyber security risks to employee data.

Last Reviewed: 2020-11-24