White House issues shared services guidance

The White House's Office of Management and Budget issued guidance Wednesday to better govern federal shared services and manage the nearly $3 billion spent each for agencies' administrative functions.

The White House’s Office of Management and Budget issued guidance Wednesday to improve federal shared services and the management of the nearly $3 billion spent annually on agencies’ administrative functions.

The guidance memo, signed by OMB Director Shaun Donovan, institutionalizes the initiatives and strategies developed by the Unified Shared Services Management team since its creation last October. 

The USSM, housed by the General Services Administration as part of a joint venture with OMB, has been tasked with developing a more strategic governmentwide shared services model, backed by a federal Shared Services Governance Board.

OMB’s guidance calls for the the establishment of an review process for back-office investments that could be spent on shared services — which are functions common across many agencies, like IT, financial management, HR and acquisition, and operated by one agency for many. 


“Reviewing these investments will ensure they align with the government-wide shared service approach and can be harnessed by multiple agencies wherever possible,” OMB Controller David Mader and GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth co-wrote in a White House blog post.

The USSM team is set in June to launch a shared services playbook, which the guidance says will reduce risk in implementing or migrating to new IT systems. The playbook, which FedScoop first reported this week, will align with the federal budget process, the fairly new FedStat process and the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, the guidance says. 

[Read more: Playbook for governmentwide shared services coming in June]

The guidance issued Wednesday creates its own new reporting process, ProviderStat — an “ongoing review process used to assess the maturity of providers’ current capabilities in order to promote continuous improvement in customer satisfaction.”  

Elsewhere, the guidance calls for collaboration between the USSM team and OMB’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy’s category management efforts, which share common goals with shared services of maximizing buying power, driving efficiency and reducing redundancy. 


Finally, the USSM team will develop a set of requirements and other criteria to drive a more standardized supply of shared services to the federal market, particularly “in a way that encourages innovation and evolution of shared services to include new practices and new technologies,” the White House post says. 

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