automation (Wright Studio/

2019 Government Innovation Awards

HHS brings automation to acquisition

The Department of Health and Human Services’ shared-services provider, the Program Support Center, fielded an automated tool that learns how to help acquisition workers move more quickly through some of their jobs’ repetitive activities.

PSC Work Smarter

Program Support Center, Department of Health and Human Services

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The PSC Work Smarter tool binds business process modeling with robotic process automation to create a platform that can automate tedious tasks across a range of software systems. With some applications, the tool can do in seconds what it would take a human worker an hour to do. Employees then review the automated work to ensure its accuracy, security and adherence to privacy rules.

Ultimately, PSC officials hope the platform will also provide real-time acquisition data, such as pricing and contract terms and conditions, so that workers won’t have to track down the information.

Although the tool was first used within PSC to assist with contract closeout initiation and re-creation for assisted acquisition, the center wants to make the platform available throughout HHS as an all-around workhorse. The finance team has successfully tested Work Smarter for travel card and operational reconciliations, and several HHS components are adapting the contract closeout automation to their workflows.

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