The General Services Administration on Monday announced two Technology Modernization Fund awards for IT modernization projects focused on customer experience.
Through the TMF, the agency has allocated the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) $5.9 million to provide startup capital needed to develop and launch a new IT platform to coordinate the agency’s work with businesses, foundations, philanthropic organizations and research institutions.
GSA has also awarded $8.7 million to the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) to support the transfer of major services for railroad employee retirees from phone and paper to new online systems.
According to GSA, the USAID project will help to improve digital services and bring together a patchwork of disconnected systems, standards and business processes across the agency.
The RRB project will address key customer experience challenges by redirecting frontline customer representatives’ efforts toward handling more complex beneficiary requests, according to GSA.
Commenting on the awards, Federal Chief Information Officer Clare Martorana said: “With our investments in USAID and RRB, the Federal Government is signaling a shift to a product mindset, one where we put our customers at the center of everything we do and use technology and design to deliver a better customer experience.”
“By ensuring technologists are partnering with agency subject matter experts and leadership teams from the beginning, the Federal Government can deliver experiences on par with our country’s most recognizable consumer brands,” she added.
TMF Executive Director Raylene Yung said the new investments “represent the TMF’s commitment to helping agencies improve the ways they interact with the American public and better deliver the services identified in the President’s Executive Order.”
“USAID and the RRB’s projects will streamline information sharing and reduce the burden on both agencies and the taxpayer by eliminating outdated and costly systems,” she added.
In June, OMB and GSA earmarked $100 million of TMF funding for high-impact service providers with innovative projects that will improve customer experience. These projects are intended to span agencies, reduce wait times, paperwork and bureaucratic barriers, as well as improve key capabilities and systems.