The help desk for all General Services Administration procurement systems got a makeover and a security lockdown.
Following the same trajectory as a number of the General Services Administration’s acquisition tools and websites this year, the Federal Service Desk—the go-to help desk for all of the agency’s procurement tools and services—got a new look and stronger security measures.
This week, FSD.gov got a makeover, with a new skin and some new functionalities.
The site retains all of the old capabilities, with some new additions, including virtual tours “to ease the transition to the new FSD.gov layout” and video walkthroughs, according to a post on the site. The site also has a new search function called “Search Knowledge Base,” a new “Announcements” section—formerly “News and Announcements”—and a chat widget that connects users with a tier 1 customer service agent.
The core functionality of the site—creating help desk tickets for technical problems—remains but has been renamed from “Web Form” to “Create an Incident.”
“In addition to basic incident ticket submissions, entities registering in SAM.gov will now use this self-service portal to upload electronic notarized letters,” the post states.
But before users can create a ticket, they have to get past the new security measures.
The frontend site is open to anyone with the URL but users that want to file a ticket or talk to a rep need to sign in. As of this week, the sign-in process now runs through Login.gov, a GSA-run program that offers a secure, single sign-in service to federal programs.
The switch to using Login.gov had a purpose beyond security, as well: GSA is eating its own cooking on utilizing more shared services where available. Rather than manage login and credentials for each of its sites, the agency is gradually moving everything to Login.gov, which itself is a fee-for-service offering from GSA.
But Login.gov comes with an added security measure: multifactor authentication.
Users who already have a Login.gov account with the same email they use to sign in to the Federal Service Desk won’t need to make any changes and can sign in to FSD.gov using their existing Login.gov account.
“Note, you do not need to have an account at FSD.gov to obtain help by searching the site,” officials wrote in a post on GSA’s Interact site. “But users with an account have access to more functions at the FSD such as web chat capability.”