GSA seeks industry input on shared services tech

In a signal that the move to shared services is accelerating, the government is looking to vendors for an update on software solutions.

Shutterstock image (by venimo): raising contributions, funding projects.

The General Services Administration wants an update on commercial financial systems software as the agency readies to accelerate a governmentwide shift to shared services.

The Trump administration's executive order on cybersecurity and the recently passed Modernizing Government Technology Act both emphasize shared services, and those mandates, coupled with advancements in technology, are starting to intensify the discussion.

Beth Angerman, who heads the Unified Shared Services Management Office, hopes the market research days, being held Feb. 13 to Feb. 15 at GSA's Washington, D.C., headquarters, will connect industry and federal agencies looking to advance the shared services conversation.

The agency is also hosting a Feb. 8 virtual general session for federal agencies on how to use financial shared services, just ahead of the vendor demonstration days.

The effort represents the next step in GSA's fact-finding mission centering on software-as-a-service financial management solutions. The agency issued a request for information in September asking for industry input on existing financial management SaaS solutions and for industry feedback on best practices and potential hurdles to implementing them.

Angerman told reporters on a Jan. 25 conference call that she wants federal chief financial officers and CIOs to attend the market research day.

"This is an exciting opportunity for government" to learn about what existing and emerging financial systems commercial providers have or will have in the near future, Angerman said.

Angerman has been looking to industry to provide innovative shared solutions, such as standardized SaaS financial management services, rather than relying on federal agencies to build their own.

It's not clear whether agencies that offer their own financial management shared services, like Agriculture or Interior, will have a seat at the table. Angerman said that if commercial providers want to help shape the way federal agencies think about how and where to get shared services, "this is the window to make change."

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