The General Services Administration headquarters building in Washington, D.C.

May 15 2020

GSA, Labor EEOC Lay the Foundation for Major Tech Upgrades

Various agencies are using Technology Modernization Fund money to modernize systems or create new ones.

The General Services Administration, Labor Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are at the forefront of modernizing technology systems across the government. 

The 2018 Modernizing Government Technology Act established a Technology Modernization Fund to fund agency requests for IT modernization projects. GSA, Labor and EEOC are among the recipients of funds from the TMF and are pushing ahead with their proposed upgrades, though there have been some delays. 

As FedTech reports, the TMF “essentially serves as a loan fund, with the expectation that the improvements will save money that agencies can use to pay back the government over a designated period of time. It allows agencies to replace and update old legacy systems that are expensive to maintain but require significant investment to improve.”

“The projects are on track, we actually got some of our first money back, which is a great thing,” Federal CIO Suzette Kent tells Federal News Network in an interview last fall. “Each of them has a spend plan. That is something that we share with Congress. So you know when money goes out and when we expect money to come back in and what that looks like.”

READ MORE: See how agencies are using TMF funding to modernize. 

GSA Modernizes Payroll System and Apps

In February 2019, the TMF board awarded the GSA $20.7 million to accelerate development of its modernized payroll shared service, NewPay.

As a December Government Accountability office report describes, the project is “intended to modernize the agency’s payroll system and replace it with a cloud-based Software as a Service solution. This is expected to lay the foundation for modernizing federal legacy payroll systems to a cloud-based solution for the federal government by September 2024.”

NewPay is expected to cover 21,000 users at the GSA and serve as the basis for upgrading the payroll systems for 2.1 million federal civilian employees, the GAO notes. Currently, four federal agencies (the departments of Agriculture, Defense and the Interior, plus GSA) serve as payroll providers for federal civilian employees. NewPay is also expected to encompass time and attendance solutions, which GSA expects to put in place in later project phases. 

Project officials reported to the GAO that they originally planned to complete the migration to NewPay and shut down GSA’s legacy systems by 2023 and consolidate all other government legacy provider payroll operations into NewPay. 

However, “officials reported that the strategy for transitioning other legacy payroll providers to NewPay was revised in mid-summer 2019,” the GAO notes. 

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