robotic process automation (Shutterstock.com)

GSA offers agencies help with RPA

To help agencies get their bots off the ground, the General Services Administration has set up a resource where agencies can collaboratively work on their plans for robotic process automation.

GSA already has over a dozen RPA bots performing repetitive, time-consuming tasks.  Its RPA community of practice (CoP), announced April 18, will offer agencies working with RPA a way to "share information, define technical options, and outline best practices for implementation in order to accelerate operational achievements and the benefits of RPA," according to a blog post by GSA's RPA Program Manager Ed Burrows, who will chair the CoP.

GSA's Chief Financial Officer Gerard Badorrek and Technology Transformation Services Director Anil Cheriyan are executive sponsors for the CoP, according to the agency.

GSA has become a federal driver for RPA implementation and a tool to effectively implement Cross-Agency Priority Goal 6 from the President's Management Agenda. That CAP goal looks to free federal workers from repetitive tasks in favor of more valuable work.

GSA is nearing the one-year anniversary of its aggressive effort to inject automation bots into agency processes tasking them with sending email payroll reports, interagency billing chargebacks and other repetitive tasks. A bot named Truman helps new vendors work through GSA's detailed review process. Truman's developer, Jeff Lau, won a 2019 Fed 100 award for his work.

Agency officials have said they want two dozen more RPAs by the end of the fiscal year.

This article was first posted on FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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