GSA celebrates successes on 2nd anniversary of American rescue plan
WASHINGTON, DC – This Saturday, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) will celebrate the second anniversary of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), President Biden’s plan to provide direct relief to Americans, contain Covid-19, and rescue the economy.
Since the bill was signed into law on March 11, 2021, ARP investments at GSA have helped modernize technology and made government digital services simpler and more secure.
“The American Rescue Plan is delivering government services better than ever and building trust along the way,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “GSA is proud to be making smart investments in agency efforts in everything from cybersecurity to customer experience that are helping deliver more seamless and secure digital services to millions of Americans.”
The ARP focused critical resources to strengthen the technology infrastructure that federal agencies use. It included $150 million for the Federal Citizen Services Fund (FCSF) and $1 billion for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF).
In total, the TMF now manages 38 investments (across 22 agencies) totaling nearly $700 million, including 27 that have been awarded since the ARP became law.
“We’ve increased our investment rate tenfold, so agencies and the public are seeing a significant, measurable impact from our efforts to improve citizen data protections, strengthen governmentwide collaboration, and enhance public-facing digital services,” said TMF Executive Director Raylene Yung, who leads a team of financial and technical experts who work with agencies on these investments. “We know our investments are succeeding, as agency projects are delivering better outcomes for the American public in easier, faster, cheaper, and more secure ways.”
TMF investments underway include:
- Enabling 1 million veterans to ask for and get fully digital service records through the National Archives and Records Administration.
- Using a new streamlined system to inspect 64 billion pounds of produce annually at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Collecting $90 billion in duties, taxes, and fees annually using a modernized system at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and saving over $30 million a year once their 30-year-old system is retired.
- Working toward strengthening the security of data and privacy protections for:
- 100 million students and borrowers that the Department of Education supports.
- 2 million civilian federal employees in OPM’s systems.
- Hundreds of facilities under GSA’s control.
- Millions of veterans using VA’s digital services.
- 70 million retirement and disability beneficiaries and their families served by the Social Security Administration.
- 800 national security users of Treasury’s classified information sharing network.
- U.S. Agency for Global Media’s reporters stationed in high-risk areas around the world, their sources, and the global media affiliates that rely on their news and information.
In addition to the TMF funding, the FCSF funding has supported key efforts in the Technology Transformation Services (TTS), an organization within GSA's Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) focused on designing and delivering a digital government with and for the public. The ARP funding supports over 40 initiatives designed to improve digital government services for the public.
“ARP funding is enabling GSA to help more people seamlessly access their benefits, accelerate public-facing service delivery, expand cross-agency services, and deploy technical experts throughout agencies to improve federal digital capacity,” said TTS Director and FAS Deputy Commissioner Ann Lewis. “We at TTS are excited about working across the government to put people first.”
Examples of program successes include:
- Accelerating agency cloud adoption to make services more secure by reducing FedRAMP authorization timelines by nearly a month and increasing annual authorizations by 27%, driving growth in the cloud and cloud security marketplaces.
- Improving access to housing counseling services by partnering with the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Agency to modernize the housing counseling locator website and interactive voice response system, enabling 94% of people to access the information they need without help.
- Developing the U.S. Web Design System’s Inclusive Design Patterns, a set of guidelines to build accessible, equitable, and inclusive government websites.
- Launching the U.S. Digital Corps, a fellowship program whose inaugural class of 38 is helping to bring skilled early-career technologists into government in the fields of software engineering, cybersecurity, product management, design, and data science.
GSA is also working to support equitable outcomes through ARP funds and programs, helping federal agencies deliver funds to Americans experiencing financial hardship. For example, when the U.S. Department of the Treasury sought help deploying Emergency Rental Assistance, the department linked up with GSA’s Office of Evaluation Sciences (OES) to find the best way to distribute $3.5 billion to families across the country. OES and Treasury also worked together on four evaluations of the ARP’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program. For more information, see the Office of Evaluation Sciences: Learning what works to support equitable delivery of the American Rescue Plan.
As GSA’s ARP-funded efforts enter their third year, GSA and its federal partners will continue to look for ways to deliver better for the American people.
About GSA: GSA provides centralized procurement and shared services for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of nearly 370 million rentable square feet, overseeing approximately $75 billion in annual contracts, and delivering technology services that serve millions of people across dozens of federal agencies. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best customer experience and value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to the government and the American people. For more information, visit GSA.gov and follow us @USGSA.