GSA Administrator Emily Murphy provides an update on the Centers of Excellence IT modernization initiative, and discusses lessons learned from the Department of Agriculture’s implementation.
The General Services Administration’s Centers of Excellence program is taking a big step forward this month. As the Department of Agriculture enters phase two of the initiative, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is preparing to embark on their own CoE experience. GSA Administrator Emily Murphy says that USDA’s efforts have provided lessons for future agency partners. “I don’t think we could have asked for a better lighthouse customer. They have done a wonderful job. They let us come in… really dive in and spend some time exploring what the requirements were, and put together a solution that works,” Murphy said. “HUD’s going to have the advantage [that] we’ll know more of the questions we should be asking up front. We have also started to think through what the contract solutions might be. While HUD is going to be our second Center of Excellence, we are already thinking about how we should set up contract vehicles that will support a third, a fourth, or a fifth center.” Murphy said that the next agency to receive help from the Centers of Excellence will be one that is completely willing and ready to work with GSA. “They have to have the resources and the senior level support to really dive in and do the work with us. This has got to be a partnership between GSA and the agency,” Murphy told Government Matters. “It is not GSA doing things for an agency. It is not GSA doing things to an agency. It is GSA doing things with an agency. So it’s making sure that we’ve got those resources in place but also making sure that GSA has really created a replicable process where we have the team ready to go into the next agency also.”