Citizen Services

White House looks to GEAR up

By Andrea Izzotti shutterstock id 147037244 

The White House is seeking input on how to create a public/private Government Effectiveness Advanced Research (GEAR) Center that would focus on boosting the government's mission delivery and citizen services.

According to a request for information issued on July 23 by the White House, the GEAR Center would be a nongovernmental, public/private partnership that "would address operational and strategic challenges facing the federal government" now and into the future.

"Today's government is outdated and proven to adapt more slowly than the private sector and has fallen behind the curve, with reported decreases in trust and lower customer satisfaction," the RFI states. The center would address how to modernize government services that might have been instituted in the late 19th century.

The center would pull together researchers, academics, nonprofit organization leaders and private-sector specialists from areas such as data science, organizational behavior and user-centered design to conduct applied research and pilot projects.

The goals are to re-imagine how U.S. citizens interact with the federal government; rethink delivery of citizen-facing services and data; reform core government processes such as procurement, budgeting, IT investment and capital allocation; and consider how the public workforce might be redeveloped, reskilled and redeployed.

The RFI seeks input on the operational, budgeting and other aspects of setting up the GEAR Center. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 14.

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, 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 or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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