Officials: Shared Services Implementation Begins But Journey Will Be Long

Thaweekeirt/Shutterstock.com

Three of the four initial focus areas are ready to move beyond the standards-setting phase to implementation, with GSA’s payroll program leading the way.

Nearly seven months after the Trump administration announced its plan to overhaul the government’s shared services landscape, most of the lead agencies have created standards in their designated areas and are getting ready to move into the implementation phase. But the work is far from over, several leaders agreed.

In April, the Office of Management and Budget issued a policy establishing a new shared services regime led by Quality Service Management Offices, or QSMOs, empowered to craft governmentwide standards and manage a marketplace of solutions to be offered to federal agencies.

The initial push began with four QSMOs leading four areas: The General Services Administration taking on the task of human resources transactions, primarily through the NewPay program; the Treasury Department setting standards for financial management; the Homeland Security Department taking the lead on cybersecurity; and Health and Human Services taking up grants management.

Three of those first initiatives have gone through the standards-setting process to figure out common needs and taxonomies work across government and where there will need to be customized solutions. The grants management work at HHS has taken longer than expected, officials said Thursday, as there was less existing consensus among agencies than with the other three areas.

“We’re now moving from planning to real implementation,” Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent said during a keynote Thursday at the Association of Government Accountants annual Shared Services Summit. First on the block will be GSA’s NewPay, which the administration has put forward as a test case for the entire QSMO program.

As GSA paves the way, “we have to understand customer impacts. Those discussions have only just begun,” Kent said. “What does that mean to interfaces? What does that mean for how people do their jobs? What does that mean from a timeline of all the other things that a customer agency might be doing at that time?”

As GSA deploys the NewPay program, Kent said that process should shed light on what will happen during the rollout of other services. With NewPay as the first test case, the other QSMO leads will be looking at how GSA adjusts mid-implementation, particularly with regard to people, funding and pacing, Kent said.

“I’m actually really excited to turn the page because we’ve done a lot of planning,” she said.

But that process will not be quick.

“This work around sharing quality services, these are not short-term projects. That is probably the biggest challenge,” Earl Pinto, deputy assistant administrator of GSA’s Office of Shared Solutions and Performance Improvement, said during a panel before Kent’s keynote.

“When we think about this whole goal, we’ll have successes along the way,” he added. “But, these are long-term projects. It’s going to take a few years to see the results.”

Pinto said the slow walk is intentional, as the QSMO leads try to develop a sustainable, repeatable process that can be mapped onto other areas where agencies can pool resources and standards.

“This is not something that happens fast. It’s very important that we’re clear, we’re methodical, we’re following a process but we stay the course,” Kent said. “There are a lot of things that we like to do really fast—do a pilot and see results in six months. We’re going to see results. But that long-term goal and checking off every box is a longer journey. We have to be very practical about how we look at that.”

So far, the shared services leads have worked together to establish a Shared Services Governance Board to provide high-level oversight of the effort; created the Business Standards Council to garner expert subject matter insights; and identified a Senior Accountable Point of Contact, or SAPOC, at each of the 24 CFO Act agencies to act as liaisons and advocates for the agency customers.

“What we’ve asked the QSMOs to do—and it’s an awesome responsibility—we’ve asked them to offer and manage a marketplace of solutions and services. One size doesn’t fit all—choice is important to agencies,” Pinto said. “The previous model had legacy providers providing their just one service. Now, what we’re going to do is offer multiple solutions and multiple services for government to access.”

As part of the ongoing, sustainability part of the program, the QSMOs will also be expected to continuously engage with agency customers and improve the standards and solutions being offered in their respective marketplaces.

“We’re putting a lot on the QSMOs’ plate and we’re going to be careful making these decisions going forward,” he said. “But, I think what you’ll see in the future is that we will have these QSMOs operating in a way that makes these mission support services more efficient and more effective. But not only that—that’s not the real goal. The real goal, at the end, is to make sure those agencies can get back to focusing on mission.”

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.