GSA is closing in on a plan for e-commerce portal, federal IT leaders discuss progress in speeding up modernizing IT acquisition, and what Trump’s 2020 budget proposal means for civilian agencies. All this and more in Public Spend Forum’s Weekly Roundup for March 15, 2019.
The General Services Administration (GSA) is closing in on a deadline to send its plans to Congress for how it’s going to take its plan for an e-commerce acquisition portal to the next level. GSA and the Office of Management and Budget are working on Phase Two implementation plans for a commercial platform effort for federal agencies. The plan is due to Congress by the end of the month, according to a GSA spokeswoman, which outlines GSA’s implementation approach as well as the program decisions. After the report is submitted to Congress, GSA and OMB will reach out to stakeholders including the appropriate congressional committees, customer agencies, the acquisition workforce and industry, a GSA spokeswoman said.
Cloud training courses offer state and local government agencies the opportunity to build up their employees’ cloud skills, within IT and beyond. There are numerous options for government IT workers if they want to attain cloud certifications for cloud architecture and cloud security. Cloud certifications are likely going to become more important in the years ahead. Gartner expects double-digit growth in government use of public cloud services, with spending forecast to grow 17.1 percent on average per year through 2021. According to the research firm, local governments spend roughly the same amount of their IT budgets on cloud as companies across all industries, at a little more than 20 percent.
Amid the challenges of modernizing IT acquisition, federal IT leaders discussed how their agencies have made progress in speeding up the process, and how they can scale up and the ACT-IAC’s Acquisition Excellence conference this week. The panel discussed the common theme of embracing an agile approach to delivery. David Shive, CIO at GSA, emphasized the shift from telling vendors how they should deliver, to focusing on the business problem at hand, and using the vendor’s expertise to figure out how to deliver. Maj. Matthew Nelson, chief of the agile acquisition branch within the Air Force’s Kessel Run program, touted the importance of cloud to the program’s success, especially on receiving Authority to Operate (ATO).
The Trump administration will seek $11 billion for the General Services Administration (GSA) as part of its 2020 budget proposal, advancing big-ticket items such as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) consolidation at St. Elizabeths and $1.7 billion for repairs and alterations across its 370 million-square-foot portfolio. GSA Administrator Emily Murphy said the budget request was crafted to address a number of high-priority items for her agency and those of President Donald Trump, including IT and infrastructure investments. The announcement was more of a big-picture statement, and GSA has not yet released its more detailed congressional justification for 2020.