House bill would make modernization CoEs law

Innovation depends on convergence and agile development

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would move the General Services Administration's Centers of Excellence program from strategy into law.

In a Feb. 13 statement, Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said their Modernization Centers of Excellence Program Act would formally establish the CoE program at GSA's Technology Transformation Service (TTS) to facilitate adoption of modern technology by executive agencies.

The statement called the bill "a light codification of the CoE program" that GSA began in 2017. The program fosters agency adoption of IT and leverages private-sector innovation in commercial cloud, contact centers, customer experience, data analytics and infrastructure optimization.

In September, GSA and the Defense Department started a sixth CoE around artificial intelligence to accelerate government's use of the emerging technology. Last summer, TTS Director Anil Cheriyan floated the idea of creating new core areas for robotic process automation and identity management.

The newly introduced bill would officially set responsibilities for the centers to modernize IT, improve how customers engage with an executive agency, increase cooperation between commercial and agency IT sectors and share best practices and expertise. More specifically, the CoEs would help agencies with planning and adoption of more efficient technology, including commercial cloud computing; tools supporting communication between citizens and agencies; contact centers and other related customer services; data management, analysis and reporting; and optimized infrastructure. Other responsibilities may be identified by the TTS director.

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 [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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