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GSA Tech Swat Team Expands to Offer Help on Agency State and Local Grants

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Connecting state and local government leaders

18F staff has grown from 15 to 165 technology consultants.

A team of digital gurus at the General Services Administration will expand its consulting and acquisition services to federal agency programs helping states and localities, GSA announced on Tuesday.

The 18F mobile squad will partner with agencies providing grants to state and local programs to offer “best practices of human-centered, agile and modular design,” the agency said.

“Federal agencies already provide millions of dollars each year to fund state and local government technology projects,” GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth said. “Now even more Americans will benefit from the world-class expertise at 18F, while partnering with federal agencies that provide grants to state and local programs allows GSA to help stretch those dollars even further.”

Launched in March 2014, 18F has helped a variety of agencies with their troubles in building, buying and sharing information technology, and has grown from an original complement of 15 employees to 165.

The new expansion grew out of a 2015 pilot project between 18F, the Health and Human Services Department and the California Department of Social Services to upgrade the state’s legacy Child Welfare System, GSA said. “Instead of relying on a single vendor to build and manage the new $400 million dollar project, 18F helped California design an agile and modular system based on a series of smaller contracts with quicker turnaround times,” a statement said. “Through smarter practices in modular contracting, 18F has helped federal agencies realize savings of up to 50 percent. And with a focus on user-centered design, California expects to see delivery of better care for its most vulnerable children.”

Former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan will head up 18F’s new state and local practice. “As a state elected official, nothing caused me to lose more sleep than launching a new website or technology platform,” she said. “Using our federal agency partnerships to give state and local officials access to 18F’s digital experts and services is a great way to help more citizens and save millions of dollars for taxpayers.”

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