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Pandemic Pushes GSA to Enhance Interagency Collaboration

General Services


Pandemic Pushes GSA to Enhance Interagency Collaboration

The General Services Administration is working to reduce institutional barriers that have hindered interagency data and cloud collaboration amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to Dan Pomeroy, head of the Office of Information Integrity and Access within GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy, making interagency collaboration easier suddenly became a priority during the pandemic as some agencies reported running into institutional barriers that prevented them from working with other agencies.

Pomeroy said GSA is already working with Federal Chief Information Officers Council leadership on developing configuration guidance and pilots to address these barriers. The agency is also creating a whitelist of Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program-approved cloud technologies that are still blocked between agencies, FedScoop reported.

While these steps may be considered somewhat basic, Pomeroy noted that it was only during the pandemic that the need to collaborate beyond one’s organizational silo became a major area of concern.

One of the problems that agencies encountered was the inability to participate in an interagency video call without a connectivity agreement.

Such barriers, according to Pomeroy, are holdovers from a “pre-cloud, pre-COVID world.”

Thom Kenney, chief data officer within the U.S. Special Operations Command, raised concerns about interagency data-sharing agreements.

Kenney said some agencies have to purchase data multiple times due to lack of data visibility and that multiple data-sharing agreements are still needed to access the same data from a single agency. 

He envisions data-sharing agreements to be modified in such a way that agencies no longer have to copy entire datasets to a new location. Instead, he wants agencies to be able to use data catalogs and examine metadata to isolate the right kinds of data that they need.

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Category: Federal Civilian

Tags: cloud Dan Pomeroy data sharing Federal Chief Information Officers Council federal civilian Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program FedRAMP FedScoop General Services Administration Thom Kenney U.S. Special Operations Command