White House eyes new center to put government on 21st century track

The White House is considering creating a new center to improve how the government meets its missions, serves citizens, and stewards public resources.

The Executive Office of the President issued a request for information July 24 regarding the Government Effectiveness Advanced Research Center, or GEAR Center.

The center would be built as a public-private, non-governmental partnership. It would deal with operational and strategic challenges facing the government, both now and into the future. It would also engage researchers, academics, non-profits, and private industry in various disciplines such as data science, organizational behavior, and user-centered design.

The center would be a high-level complement to existing ways the private sector and academia already inform federal work.

The GEAR Center is based on a proposal in the “Delivering Government Solutions for the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations.”

Officials will host a conference about the GEAR Center in late summer. No specific date was given. At the conference, they will discuss its objectives, areas of innovation, and how to decide what priorities it should take on the future.

According to the RFI, agencies policies are out of date and move slowly as the technology forces the public sector to adjust quickly.

“Most federal government entities and programs were designed many decades ago, and many are still aligned to the missions of the 19th Century. Their designers could not have anticipated how technology or society’s needs would evolve in the 21st Century,” the RFI states.

The RFI was released July 24. Responses are due by Sept. 14.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

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