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Saturday, May 19, 2012

OMB begins to clarify industry's role in shared services

In the almost three weeks since the Office of Management and Budget released its shared services strategy, one of the bigger questions that remains has been how does industry fit in the equation?

Under the Bush administration's Lines of Business initiative, contractors could qualify to be a shared service provider and bid on solicitations for financial management or human resources services.

While the Obama administration's shared services strategy tries to reinvigorate the agency-side of LOB effort, vendor participation remains unclear.

As agency deadlines begin to ramp up over the next three months, OMB is beginning to clarify industry's role.

Unlike the former LOB initiatives where public and private sector providers existed, OMB is not differentiating between the two, said Scott Bernard, the federal chief architect at OMB.

Bernard said the strategy breaks down the roles in a shared service set up: the managing partner, the consumer or agency and the supplier.

Agencies have until the end of May to submit to OMB a high level portfolio survey of their internal lines of business, where they can identify potential opportunities for consolidation to a shared service provider.

Then by June 15, agencies must send to OMB a list of commodity IT areas ripe for consolidation and by June 29 a draft plan to consolidate commodity IT.

-Jason Miller, FederalNewsRadio.com

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