Key Issues > Duplication & Cost Savings > GAO's Action Tracker > Federal Shared Services (2019-05)
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General Government: Federal Shared Services (2019-05)

The Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration could better position themselves to achieve their cost savings goal of $2 billion over 10 years and reduce inefficient overlap and duplication by strengthening their implementation of selected federal shared services reform efforts.

Action:

The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Shared Services Policy Officer should work with the General Services Administration (GSA) to finalize a plan for monitoring the implementation of NewPay. The plan should include: (1) implementation goals, a timeline, and milestones for agencies to transition from one provider to another; (2) transparent reporting mechanisms on key milestones; and (3) a process for capturing and communicating lessons learned.

Progress:

OMB staff did not agree or disagree with GAO’s March 2019 recommendation, and as of January 2020, OMB had not addressed this recommendation. According to OMB staff, they are still deliberating goals and milestones for NewPay. In addition, OMB is working on a knowledge library to capture lessons learned for shared services initiatives. However, OMB staff did not provide a timeline for when they will complete these efforts.

Without a detailed monitoring plan that includes goals, transparent reporting mechanisms on key milestones, and a process for capturing and communicating lessons learned, it will be more difficult for OMB and GSA to provide oversight of the transition and its effects on providers and customers, including whether there are interruptions to delivery of services. Additionally, this information could help OMB and GSA avoid gaps in service or costly delays as agencies transition to the new model for obtaining payroll and work management services.

Implementing Entity:

Office of Management and Budget

Action:

The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Shared Services Policy Officer should work with the General Services Administration (GSA) to document key roles and responsibilities, including which agency will be the NewPay Service Management Office (SMO); who will be assigned to the NewPay Task Order Review Board; how the SMO, the Review Board, and other key stakeholders will work together; and which agency will be responsible for interpreting payroll rules and regulations.

Progress:

OMB staff did not agree or disagree with GAO’s March 2019 recommendation, and as of January 2020, OMB had taken some steps to address this recommendation. OMB designated GSA as the Quality Service Management Office (QSMO) for Newpay. As QSMO, GSA will be responsible for managing the payroll marketplace. However, OMB has not documented how GSA and other key stakeholders will work together. For example, OMB has not documented which agency will review and approve task orders.

Until OMB and GSA clearly identify, communicate, and document key roles and responsibilities, they run the risk of not achieving their objectives. They also risk repeating past problems associated with the delivery of shared services, such as the inconsistent implementation and interpretation of standards and migrations that encounter costly delays should agencies not follow available guidance.

Implementing Entity:

Office of Management and Budget

Action:

The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Shared Services Policy Officer should work with the General Services Administration (GSA) to update provider information on services offered, pricing, and performance and share that information with prospective customers.

Progress:

OMB staff did not agree or disagree with GAO’s March 2019 recommendation, and as of January 2020, OMB had not addressed this recommendation. Without up-to-date information on providers—such as the services OMB and GSA plan to offer, their level of performance, and their costs—it will be time-consuming and difficult for potential customers to compare providers. This lack of information could slow the rate of shared services adoption.

Implementing Entity:

Office of Management and Budget

Action:

The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Shared Services Policy Officer should work with the General Services Administration (GSA) to implement a process for collecting and tracking cost-savings data that would allow them to assess progress toward the shared services cost-savings goal of an estimated $2 billion over 10 years.

Progress:

OMB staff did not agree or disagree with GAO’s March 2019 recommendation, and as of January 2020, OMB had not addressed this recommendation. According to OMB officials, OMB will collect cost-savings data via the integrated data collection process, which requires agencies to publicly post their cost savings and avoidance data. However, OMB has not demonstrated how it plans to use data from the IT Integrated Data Collection Instrument to track cost savings, specifically related to shared services overall and for individual projects.

Until OMB and GSA finalize a plan for collecting the needed data and evidence to effectively measure cost-savings goals, it will be difficult to demonstrate progress—a recurring challenge associated with previous shared services efforts.

Implementing Entity:

Office of Management and Budget

Action:

The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO), should ensure that the results of the Working Capital Fund (WCF) Division’s business process analyses are assessed to better understand how these analyses contribute to the WCF’s established goal to support the efficient delivery of enterprise goods and services.

Progress:

Pending

Implementing Entity:

Department of Housing and Urban Development