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ACT-IAC Advises OMB to Push for Greater Adoption of Shared Services, Re-Use and Open Data Among Federal Agencies

The American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council’s (ACT-IAC) Institute for Innovation today announced the release of the report entitled, “Transforming the Way Government Builds Solutions.” The report’s recommendations are in response to a request by the Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) and the Office of the Federal Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for public-private sector insight on how government can transform the way it buys, builds and implements solutions. Themes in the report include ways to leverage commercial best practice methods through modular development, open data, rapid innovation, agility, and reusability.

“Evidence shows that agencies may sometimes miss out on opportunities to leverage relevant work done by the private sector, other agencies, or even within their own agency,” said Sara DeCarlo, ACT-IAC’s Institute for Innovation Director. “A recurring theme throughout the many interviews we conducted with government and industry stakeholders is the very real need to change the environment so that reuse of proven modules is no longer viewed as ‘too hard’ or ‘too risky.’ Promoting greater use of shared services, open data, modular adoption and reusability can lead to substantial benefits, including: maximizing operational efficiency, reducing cost redundancies and ensuring the use of the most cost-effective, agile and flexible IT solutions.”

ACT-IAC developed the report to provide OMB and agency executives with actionable strategies to: build solutions using open data and machine readable APIs with effective security and privacy measures; increase the discoverability of existing applications and data sources that can be adapted to other uses; and, drive broad adoption across government and industry.

The report highlights four strategies for transforming IT procurement and adoption processes through the application of innovative technologies:

  • Remove Barriers and Promote the Use of Shared Services. Develop policy guidance outlining the rationale, strategy and targets for shared services flexibility and continuous competition among service providers. Establish processes to identify areas to promote multi-agency shared initiatives by augmenting current agency review practices.
  • Support Communities that Drive Rapid Adoption of Open Data. Promote the establishment of Communities of Interest (CoI) and Centers of Excellence (CoE) in support of advancing knowledge, standards, and resources. Identify change agents and adopt best practices for module reuse and the establishment of open data repositories. Incentivize broad adoption of practices that require a more thorough discovery period for artifacts that can be leveraged for new solution designs.
  • Make it Simple to Acquire and Build Reusable Components. Upfront acquisition design decisions will dictate downstream capabilities to streamline future solutions. This can include clarifying intellectual property issues to ensure the transferability of data and code from one solution to another within government.
  • Build a Workforce that Values Rapid, Modular Adoption and Reuse. OMB’s oversight authority must create metrics to measure employee progress in order to identify and promote the appropriate constructive leadership behaviors and priority competency areas. Rotating senior leadership roles will promote cross-agency use of best practices, awareness of resources and promote trust.

“Transforming the Way Government Builds Solutions” was developed by the ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation project team led by co-chairs Paul Anninos, Vice President of REI Systems; Sonny Hashmi, Acting CIO for GSA; and Tim Young, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. The paper may be downloaded from: www.actiac.org

For more information about the report or to join the discussion:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ACTIAC (#actiac, #sharedservices)

About ACT-IAC – Advancing Government through Education, Collaboration and Action

ACT-IAC has been recognized as the premier government IT community’s public-private partnership and is an example of how government and industry work together. We are a nonprofit educational organization created to advance government in serving the public through the effective application of IT resources. Our education, training, programming and collaboration opportunities enhance and advance the government IT profession. ACT-IAC’s objective, vendor- and technology-neutral, and ethical forum allow government and industry to collaborate and improve government through technology. Headquartered in the Greater Washington, D.C. area, ACT-IAC also has chapters in the Pacific region (based in San Diego) and the Rocky Mountain region (based in Denver).

Learn more about our organization and how to become a member at www.actiac.org or call 703-208-4800.

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