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Nick Sinai, Senior Advisor at Insight Partners, discusses the significance of expanded access to the secure authentication platform from the General Services Administration

The General Services Administration has expanded pilots of to include state and local governments. Nick Sinai, former Deputy Chief Technology Officer at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, joined “Government Matters” to discuss the importance of single sign-on capabilities and the future of shared services.

“Digital identity is a big deal,” Sinai said. “Being able to authenticate and identity-proof is hard, and it’s hard for local and state governments, it’s hard for federal agencies, and so the extent to which GSA and the Technology Transformation Service can make it easier for states and localities to ease the pain for end users who are trying to access benefits, login to local and state websites, that’s a good thing.”

He said the process is complicated behind the scenes because it uses a mix of open-source technology, custom technology and commercial technology. He said GSA will need to prioritize the end-user experience and make it as seamless as possible.

“GSA is the business agency. It serves other agencies and it should be able to serve state and local agencies too. TTS, their core ability is around digital technology, and so they absolutely should be able to provide these services,” Sinai said.

Sinai said and other shared services should be built on modern technology and should be designed to be easy for the other agencies involved. He said that if state and local agencies find it easier to build systems themselves than go through GSA, they’re less likely to use the shared services offered.

When thinking about scaling shared services, Sinai said GSA will need to focus on the ease of integration. He said he’d be watching how well the local agencies integrate the new technology.

“I think the localities, states and local governments, want to use modern digital services,” Sinai said. “They want to use them from great commercial providers, and they want to use them from shared service providers if they’re going to get great value and great service.”

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