Deputy Secretary Bruce Andrews said while lawmakers decide whether to fund the White House's $3 million request to set up an Idea Lab, the department already released a new online tool to collect employee ideas.
President Barack Obama is asking Congress for additional funding to set up digital services offices in the 25 largest agencies and create idea labs to promote employee innovation.
Megan Smith, the federal chief technology officer says agencies need employees with a high technical quotient to help build digital services. Four months into the job, Smith said digital services, policy and innovation, and STEM are her top priorities.
The Office of Management and Budget is instructing agencies to set up their own digital services group modeled after those at the General Services Administration under 18F and the Veterans Affairs Department.
Beth Cobert, the deputy director for management at OMB, said the administration has to help agencies get the skills and capabilities to move to a digital world more quickly and improve the quality. She said an updated Digital Services Playbook is coming in the next month. The IRS is one of the few agencies to grasp how digital services can improve its mission.
Office of Federal Procurement Policy administrator Anne Rung has released a memo detailing a road map to create a new model for federal contracting. The administration will expand the concept of category management across the government, while also developing a cadre of IT acquisition experts and revamping the government's relationship with its vendors.
The U.S. Digital Service team is working with VA and other agencies to hire and train employees to apply the agile development approach to projects. Mikey Dickerson, USDS director, said the goal is two-fold: to create lasting agile development capacity in agencies and to ensure agencies think about citizens' needs first and foremost.