Labor Department Joins GSA’s AI Center of Excellence to Automate Procurement Tools

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Labor becomes the sixth agency to join the Centers of Excellence program and the first of 2020.

The Labor Department is joining the General Services Administration’s Centers of Excellence program in a bid to modernize and automate the department’s procurement process.

The Technology Transformation Service—the GSA program that houses the CoEs—announced Thursday that Labor would be partnering with the newest center, focused on spreading the use of artificial intelligence throughout government.

“This newest CoE engagement will accelerate the modernization of DOL’s acquisition capabilities using robotic process automation expertise,” according to a release Thursday from TTS.

“The Department of Labor is always looking for ways to integrate new technologies into our operations,” Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella said in the release. “By partnering with GSA, our department will modernize our procurement process to better serve the taxpayers.”

Labor is the sixth agency to join the CoE program.  The program first launched with a partnership with the Agriculture Department in 2017, followed by Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Personnel Management and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Defense Department’s Joint Artificial Intelligence Center also joined the CoE after the program added a center focused on AI.

“We’re excited to partner with DOL as the CoE efforts continue to grow. We’re eager to hone in on the specific challenges faced by the Department to achieve solutions that meet their needs, but are also repeatable and scalable,” said TTS Director Anil Cheriyan. “Robotics process automation in combination with artificial intelligence capabilities is gaining momentum in government, and is a strategic focus area for TTS this year.”

The news of Labor joining the program comes on the same day two House lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill to codify the CoE program in law.

“This latest engagement reflects the continued success of the Centers of Excellence initiative,” said White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination Chris Liddell, who spearheaded creation of the CoE program. “This is another positive development for the long-term institutional capacity of the federal government to modernize its use of the latest technologies. Ultimately, this is a shared mission that will create a more efficient, effective and accountable government for all Americans.”