Kent Previews New Automation Policy from OMB

Federal CIO Suzette Kent today previewed an effort from her office to create policy to support Federal agency automation efforts.

“We’re also developing specific policy to support the agencies to move faster using automated technologies,” said Kent during a keynote speech at the ServiceNow Federal Summit. “We have a few agencies that are already on the journey, but not everyone. In some places, there are questions. So what we’re doing for this year is putting some guardrails in place, and defining clearly the automated technologies we want to focus on.”

Kent said the policy will include guidance on when to use automation, what categories of automation fit different types of workloads, fitness-for-use models, and oversight requirements.

“We want to match to consequence of the outcome to the level of oversight and control with which we look at those technologies,” she said.

Kent added that the policy will look for success across specific outcomes, including;

  • Ensuring that automated technologies make Federal services more effective;
  • Increasing the public trust in automated technologies through transparency;
  • Creating a path forward for Federal employees to prepare them for roles with automation skills; and
  • Setting clear expectations for industry to align well with government.

She also emphasized the importance of the Federal Data Strategy, which is set to be released soon.

“To be able to fully leverage these automated technologies, we have to have high quality data, and we have to have mechanisms for sharing that data,” she noted. She added that the Federal Data Strategy will align well with the recently-passed Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, which includes the OPEN Government Data Act.

Kent also noted that many of the policies introduced in 2018 would be finalized soon, such as Cloud Smart, TIC 3.0, and the Data Center Optimization Initiative.

“You’re going to see the finals out very soon, but that’s just a part of it. That gets the barriers out of the way. We have to continue to lower the barriers for agencies to continually adopt the capabilities … particularly how we deploy and integrate automation across workflow and business processes,” she said.

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