The General Services Administration announced a dozen awardees receiving contracts for the second phase of the Centers of Excellence program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“I am proud of the Federal Acquisition Service, especially the Technology Transformation Services team, for making these Phase II awards and hitting this major milestone so quickly,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy in an Oct. 1 press release on the awards.

“USDA has been a passionate and engaged partner, and I am excited for the work about to take place. This effort will result in a better customer experience for citizens and a suite of best practices and lessons learned that can be applied across the government to ensure agencies have the tools and knowledge they need to better serve the American people.”

The first phase of the CoE program focused on assessment and planning, while the second phase will transition the agency to addressing the needed IT changes and improvements identified in the first phase.

USDA and GSA issued the requests for proposals for Phase II in late July, and officials said at an industry event that the agency anticipated starting work in late September or early October. The most recent awards keep with that initial timeline.

“USDA is extremely excited about transitioning to Phase II of our Centers of Excellence initiatives with GSA,” said USDA Chief Information Officer Gary Washington.

“Since beginning in March of 2018, USDA has benefited from its engagement with GSA. The CoEs have helped USDA accelerate its modernization efforts across our mission areas during the first six months of our partnership.”

For USDA, the CoEs address six different IT needs the agency identified, with one or more industry awardees for each need:

  • OneUSDA Contact Center — Accenture Federal Services
  • Voice of the Customer Tool — NIC Federal, LLC
  • Data Analytics Capacity Building and Data Visualization and Analytics — SAIC
  • Customer Experience Digital Support Services — Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Business Modernization Office Support Services — Summit Consulting, LLC
  • Infrastructure Optimization Cloud Adoption — Booz Allen Hamilton, TechFlow, Inc., Smartronix, SAIC, TechTrend, Incorporated, OM Group, Inc., Ace Info Solutions, Inc., Accenture Federal Services LLC, Deloitte Consulting LLP and T-Rex Solutions LLC