Last week, the General Services Administration (GSA) held a Technology Industry Day to talk to industry leaders about the products and solutions developed by our agency and to hear feedback on how we can better engage industry. We’re thrilled that more than 300 members of the technology industry in person and via the live stream were able to join us for this first step towards a closer partnership and more open lines of communication about how we can work together to transform federal technology.
As GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth said in her opening remarks, “Government can be ever changing, and I want us to be in partnership in making those changes.” The Technology Transformation Service (TTS) is already absorbing the first-mover risk of introducing modern tools and techniques, but we know that only with the help of industry will this transformation be able to spread across the federal government. As we all bring agile methodologies, human-centered design, and modular design to the government, the opportunity to improve federal digital services is immense.
“For me, the future is a future where every public facing government service is easy to understand, is a pleasure to use, works on whatever device you visit it on, and gives you fast, efficient service,” said Aaron Snow, Deputy Director of TTS.
If you weren’t able to attend, you can watch the first two hours of the event below and download the slidedeck from the morning presentation.
Find out more about the projects and platforms we talked about during the Technology Industry Day.
The Agile Blanket Purchase Agreement is a pre-selected pool of vendors specializing in agile delivery services (for example, user-centered design, agile software development, DevOps), developed in partnership by TTS and the Federal Acquisition Service. Agile BPA vendors have built or are building solutions for the Department of Labor, the Office of Personnel Management, the Environmental Protection Agency and more. Learn more about the principles and practices that are driving the Agile BPA. Learn more from Dave Zvenyach and Paul Summers in their Agile BPA lightning talk.
Micro-purchasing is a process is where the federal government makes small procurements to directly buy products and services, as long as the price does not exceed $3,500. Currently, we’re using that process to buy small pieces of open source software and design through the Micro-purchase Marketplace. This process has allowed clients to add valuable features to their products through quick, inexpensive purchases. Hear more about this and other acquisition projects from Alla Seiffert.
cloud.gov is a shared platform built for government that allows agencies to securely deploy systems to the cloud. It takes care of baseline security and scalability concerns and allows federal teams to focus on delivering quality products. We expect cloud.gov to receive FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board Provisional Authority to Operate in November. We’re also building a system to help automate risk management documentation. Read more blog posts about cloud.gov and watch Bret Mogilefsky’s lightning talk.
The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) is a law that, once implemented, will make it easier to understand how the federal government spends money. 18F has been working with the Department of the Treasury to successfully implement the law and help Treasury adopt some modern practices, like working in the open. Renata Maziarz from the Treasury talked about the benefits she’s seen from working in the open.
We have a lot of auditors. We probably have more auditors than we have staff. Working in the open is the best thing because we can just say “Hey, take a look at our open JIRA board. Hey, go take a look at our GitHub site. Everything is out in the open. You’re welcome to comment or question.” I love open.
California Child Welfare System
Last year, California began a process to replace their child welfare services case management system. Through a partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, 18F was able to work on behalf of HHS with California’s Department of Social Services and Office of Systems Integration and Code for America to simplify the contracting documents and to incorporate modular contracting, agile development, user-centered design, and open source practices into their project. Hear more from Stuart Drown, the California Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Accountability, about the project.
We’re building an authentication platform to make online interactions with the U.S. government simple, efficient and intuitive. This platform will be a service shared by agencies to streamline logging in and to allow the public to securely access personal information and federal government services. Read the Identity Playbook the team is using to guide their work and watch Joel Minton’s lightning talk about the project.
The Technology Industry Day generated a heap of valuable feedback and potential opportunities for GSA and industry to work together to better serve the public. We’re going through our notes and following up with the participants now, and we plan to publicly share more thoughts and insights from the sessions soon.
Until then, you can sign up the 18F Acquisitions email list or the general 18F newsletter to stay up to date with all of our projects (or follow our work as it happens on GitHub). If you’d like to start a conversation about working with 18F or have questions about our work, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to everyone who came to the event. Stay tuned for more focused events in the future.