Emerging Tech

GSA launches RPA resource

tech process (pkproject/Shutterstock.com)

With over a dozen robotic process automation bots currently operating within its systems, performing repetitive, time-consuming tasks, the General Services Administration has set up a center where other federal agencies can collaboratively work on their own RPA plans.

GSA formed an RPA community of practice (CoP) on April 18 that will offer agencies that are currently piloting RPA or already have bots in production a shared information resource.

GSA's Chief Financial Officer Gerard Badorrek and Technology Transformation Services Director Anil Cheriyan are executive sponsors for the CoP, according to the agency. The agency's RPA program manager, Ed Burrows will chair the effort, it said.

Cheriyan, a former CIO at SunTrust Banks, took the reins at TTS at the beginning of the year. He is also Federal Acquisition Service deputy commissioner and leads the agency's Centers of Excellence program. He has been looking to inject new processes and capabilities into the agency's operations.

GSA has become a federal driver for RPA implementation and a tool to effectively implement Cross-Agency Priority Goal 6 from the President's Management Agenda. That CAP goal looks to free federal workers from repetitive tasks in favor of more valuable work.

GSA is nearing the one-year anniversary of its aggressive effort to inject robots into agency processes tasking them with sending email payroll reports, interagency billing chargebacks and other repetitive tasks. A bot named Truman helps new vendors work through GSA's detailed review process. Truman's developer, Jeff Lau, won a 2019 Fed 100 award for his work.

Agency officials have said they want two dozen more RPAs by the end of the fiscal year.

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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