The General Services Administration announced March 14, 2018, that it made five contract awards for the first phase of work in the Centers of Excellence program occurring at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Centers of Excellence program is a new collaboration between the Office of American Innovation and the General Services Administration, designed to introduce cutting-edge ideas and technologies to improve agency performance in areas like cloud and customer service.

“This is a significant step forward in the government’s commitment to improve citizens’ lives,” said Chris Liddell, assistant to the president and director of the American Technology Council, in a GSA news release on the award.

Each award corresponds with a specific Center of Excellence within USDA and will provide consulting and IT engineering services for the planning and organization phase of the initiative.

The awardees are:

  • McKinsey & Company, Inc. for IT Infrastructure Optimization
  • SIE Consulting Group for Cloud Adoption 
  • ICF Incorporated, LLC for Customer Experience
  • Kaiser Associates, Inc. for Contact Center
  • ICF Incorporated, LLC for Service Delivery Analytics

“The awards announced today mark a major milestone in implementing the administration’s far-reaching federal IT modernization effort,” said Joanne Collins Smee, GSA’s acting director of Technology Transformation Services and deputy commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service.

“GSA will play a pivotal role in this endeavor, and our team will be at the tip of the spear constantly focusing on meaningfully improving outcomes for our agency partners. We look forward to working closely with the award recipients and our great partners at USDA — the first lighthouse agency for the CoEs — to bring about a federal IT infrastructure that will make it easier for the American people to interact with their government.”

In addition to the award announcement, GSA also announced that Bob DeLuca, most recently the chief information officer at the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, joined GSA to run the day-to-day operations of the Centers of Excellence program.

“I am very pleased that Bob DeLuca is joining our team as the director of Centers of Excellence to oversee the day-to-day progress of the CoEs,” Collins Smee said. “Bob’s technical experience in enterprise software, cloud adoption, infrastructure planning and execution give him the necessary skills to make a significant contribution to the team.”

Jessie Bur covered the federal workforce and the changes most likely to impact government employees for Federal Times.

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