Citizen Services

USAGov hones data, services

GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock) 

The General Services Administration's USAGov continues to expand its COVID-19 data aggregation and services to help the public and federal agencies with the government's COVID-19 response, according to the operation's leader.

"Agencies and the public get a fuller picture of federal data" from USAGov's COVID-19 landing page, said Director Meddie Brown in an interview with FCW.

USAGov is part of GSA's Technology Transformation Service (TTS) operations that help federal agencies deliver services to the public. Programs such as the Federal Risk Authorized Management Program (FedRAMP), Cloud.gov, Data.gov and a list of others fall under TTS.

Last March, the Department of Homeland Security tapped USAGov as a primary lane for federal agencies to channel their COVID-19 response information to the public. USAGov aggregates that data to provide a centralized designated point for a flock of federal COVID-19 information webpages.

The USAGov page curates an exhaustive list of over 100 links to critical COVID sites that contain information on everything from the Internal Revenue Service's stimulus check payment updates, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health information, and the Environmental Protection Agency's information on disinfectants, among others.

In addition to the data aggregation capabilities, Brown said, USAGov also helps agencies deal with the thousands of public inquiries about benefits and resources.

USAGov provides contact-center-as-a-service to federal agencies as a resource to help them handle thousands of public inquiries about their services. Brown said the agency in the last few days has upped the ceiling of its its contact-center-as-a-service contract, which was originally awarded to seven vendors in 2007 with a $2.5 billion ceiling. Vendors include General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc. and Leidos Innovations Corporation.

The COVID-19 landing page, which is the product of a team of USAGov data analysts, has to keep up with the public's changing interests in federal resources, said Brown, drawing on agency data such as website and telephone inquiries and Facebook and Twitter posts.

"There's a continued focus on streamlining the data provided on the page," said Brown, to keep it in line with the public's interests. In the months since the outbreak of the virus, he said analysts followed the shift in interest at federal sites from virus testing and health facts to a hunger for information on housing and unemployment.

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


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