A new push for more actionable IT spending data

The White House and the General Services Administration are seeking information from industry about how to make federal IT spending more transparent and run IT operations more like a business.

shutterstock image By enzozo; photo ID: 319763930
 

The General Services Administration wants to accelerate the use of spending metrics to reform federal IT procurement. The agency, in partnership with the Office of Management and Budget, posted a request for information June 18 about adopting Technology Business Management across government.

"Increasing transparency on IT spending will empower federal leaders to make better informed, data-driven decisions and provide greater accountability when investing taxpayer dollars on needed IT solutions," said GSA head Emily Murphy in a statement announcing the solicitation.

GSA has adopted TBM to measure its technology spend, and the methodology has been pushed by the administration as part of the overall goals of improving IT-related spending transparency and performance metrics in the President's Management Agenda.

In a blog post, OMB Deputy Director for Management Margaret Weichert said the adoption of TBM framework "will provide more granularity in IT investments based upon an open-source taxonomy broadly accepted across both private and public sector organizations."

"The effort will help federal executives to make data-driven decisions and analyze trade-offs between cost, quality and value when allocating valuable tax payer dollars to support IT initiatives," she wrote.

Chris Liddell, deputy chief of staff for policy coordination, has said that government may be spending up to $200 billion on IT each year -- more than double the Government Accountability Office's estimate.

GSA isn't looking to replace or develop a parallel system for collecting TBM data for agencies already using the methodology. Rather, the solicitation is about driving capabilities such as advanced data analytics, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, data mining and machine learning to make TBM data more useful.

GSA is also looking for information on software and services that support the adoption of TBM, such as data cleansing, data mapping, business process evaluations, business and data analytics and other data standardization services.

To gauge vendors' capabilities and interest, GSA is hosting two industry days. The first, a virtual industry day, is scheduled for June 26, and the second, an in-person, reverse industry day, will be July 9.

The RFI asks companies to detail the capabilities and functions of their proposed software and services and describe how they would approach analyzing and aggregating publicly available, governmentwide data sources such as FedScope and USASpending.

In September, Dominic Sale, GSA's deputy associate administrator, said government is "years away" from full implementation of TBM.

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