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Bringing Tech Innovation to the Federal Sphere

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Tue Nov 29 2016

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Bringing Tech Innovation to the Federal Sphere-9b7643ad6998613c1b14c3e9c2d2bfb5892c9839a4b7abde5c43d2d05f4e8ce5

Meeting the technology needs of the entire federal government is a massive job that affects not just government employees but the nation as a whole. Helping agencies meet those needs is just one part of Adam Neufeld's job at the General Services Administration. Since February 2015, he's served as the second-highest official at the agency. He also is helping GSA expand the government's capacity to use technology to solve problems through such initiatives as 18F and the Technology Transformation Service. 

In the November 2016 issue of The Public Manager, Roxy Torres interviews Neufeld about the GSA's work in expanding the government's capacity to use technology to solve problems through such initiatives as 18F and the Technology Transformation Service. He also reflects on how the government can continue building a tech-savvy workforce. 

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"GSA aims to help agencies with their technology needs, whatever they may be. Each agency has vastly different circumstances—ranging from where they need assistance, to how they need assistance, to what types of assistance they need." Some agencies need help in procuring common goods and services or modernizing their technology, says Neufeld. 

"Our idea is to recognize what agencies need and to meet them where they are. So, for example, we're experimenting more with partnering with the private sector to offer platforms. Login.gov and Cloud.gov are two efforts to combine GSA's technical expertise and our procurement expertise to meet government needs. Whatever the need, GSA should be a central place that an agency can go to for help." 

For Neufeld, the challenge is to get the most value out of technology across the board and to get agencies to understand that implementing technology into the everyday fabric of the workplace takes time. "It is incumbent on agencies to help their workforce with this, to recognize that you just can't throw a technology out there and expect everyone to be fine with it," he explains. "Sometimes you have to hold people's hand and make it safe for them. This is just part of working in an organization today." 

Check out “A Tech Savvy Government” to read the complete interview.

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