Acquisition

OMB's new one-stop shop for digital services

The U.S. Digital Service, the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration opened a centralized online hub where federal agencies can go for the low-down on how to acquire digital services.

In a July 26 blog post, USDS Administrator Mikey Dickerson and Anne Rung, chief acquisition officer at the Office of Management and Budget, unveiled the TechFAR Hub, designed to offer federal procurement employees workaday tools they can use to get digital services.

The effort jibes with other Obama administration moves to centralize information for contracting personnel. USDS' TechFAR Handbook and Digital Services Playbook both provide best practices and techniques for digital services.

Dickerson and Rung said the TechFAR Hub goes a step further. It will not only provide practical tools and resources to apply industry best practices to digital services acquisition, but it will also provide a community of users.

Available through GSA's Acquisition Gateway, the hub is "a one-stop portal for contract information, pricing tools, best practices and other information," they wrote.

The resource grew from a collaboration between OMB's Office of Federal Procurement Policy and USDS, which also teamed up in 2014 to issue the TechFAR Handbook, to help agencies better comprehend regulations and policies surrounding software development.

With the new TechFAR Hub, Dickerson and Rung said the federal acquisition workforce and other digital acquisition stakeholders can see what worked for other agencies and discuss their ideas and what they've learned with the community.

For instance, the "Discover IT" section of the TechFAR Hub is a curated, consolidated selection of courses, podcasts and case studies that provide best practices in digital services acquisition.

The "Discuss IT" section of the hub hosts the "Government Digital Service Acquisition Community" on Stack Exchange -- a crowdsourced discussion board where anyone can ask and answer questions about government digital services acquisitions.

The "Do IT" section helps acquisition professionals move from learning about best practices to using them. Tools that help with estimation, market research and requirements building for the digital procurement process are located here.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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