OMB Names Two More Lead Offices for New Shared Services Regime

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The announcement comes after two more agencies completed their marketplace implementation plans.

Three-quarters of the administration’s governmentwide shared services initiative has gotten beyond the initial phase, with the announcement of two more designated lead offices as part of the Quality Service Management Office, or QSMO, effort.

Monday, the Office of Management and Budget announced that the General Services Administration and Treasury Department would officially lead the human services and financial management QSMOs, respectively.

The QSMO program was established in April 2019 to completely overhaul how the government envisions shared services. Rather than having a collection of agencies offer their existing services to other departments and programs, the QSMO effort taps single agencies to act as leaders in their domain.

And rather than just offering services other agencies can pay for, QSMOs will also be expected to curate a broader marketplace with a range of solutions—including commercial options—and establish standards for agencies that want to go it alone.

While GSA and Treasury were expected to take the lead in HR and financial management from the beginning, Monday’s announcement makes it official.

“This a significant leap forward in our shared services modernization efforts,” outgoing Federal Chief Information Officer Suzette Kent said in a statement. “By designating GSA and Treasury as QSMO, the federal government is able to really leverage shared services across multiple mission critical services benefiting all agencies. Core Financial Management and Civilian HR Transaction are key services that are integral to the operations of every agency.”

Before GSA and Treasury could get their designations, the agencies needed to complete marketplace implementation plans “to include information on proposed service offerings, acquisition strategy, governance, financial infrastructure and organization,” according to an OMB backgrounder.

GSA developed its implementation plan around the agency’s NewPay program to overhaul its payroll and work schedule system. Per Monday’s announcement, as the lead for Civilian HR Transaction Services, GSA will focus on “compensation management, work schedule and leave management services.”

“With our QSMO designation, the GSA NewPay team and our partner agencies will be able to modernize the way the federal government processes payroll and time and attendance by aligning policy, processes, data standards and technology,” GSA Administrator Emily Murphy said. “This gives us all the opportunity to further collaborate on new and innovative solutions to better serve federal employees.”

Similarly, Treasury’s designation places it as the lead for Core Financial Management services.

“The establishment of the Financial Management Quality Service Management Office at Treasury supports our tradition and long-standing commitment to improving financial management throughout the government,” said David Lebryk, fiscal assistant secretary at Treasury. “This new office will develop a customer-centric marketplace for modern IT solutions that will move agencies away from outdated IT systems and improve government operations and performance.” 

The latest QSMO news comes one month after OMB and the Homeland Security Department named the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, or CISA, as the lead for the cybersecurity marketplace. Monday’s announcement leaves one more lead to be identified: a component from the Health and Human Services Department to focus on grants management.