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Deja Vu All Over Again

A couple weeks ago, OMB and GSA announced the formation of a new office at the General Services Administration within the Office of Governmentwide Policy to implement financial management shared services across the government. I was there at the event at the Partnership for Public Service when the OMB and GSA leadership unveiled the plan, as were literally hundreds of others interested in shared services.

As I listened to what the "new" plan my mind drifted back to 2004 when I was staff director of the House Government Management Subcommittee on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and to hearings we had in 2006 on the then new plan to house a new shared services office in the Offie of Governmentwide Policy at GSA. The office at GSA called FSIO was going to help coordinate shared services governmentwide with a new governance structure and an "executive steering committee" among other things to make it work.

Somewhere around 2010, someone decided that whatever they were doing at GSA to promote shared services wasn't working. So they closed the office and moved everything associated with it to Treasury in a new office called the Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation (FIT). FIT was surely the answer for all of the failures of FSIO and so industry shifted gears and began working with FIT to promote governmentwide adoption of shared services. The FIT effort went on for some 5 years and it still exists in some capacity today but it is being phased out for the new office at GSA which is by all accounts supposed to do the same thing that the old office at GSA did beginning in 2004.

So in 2004, we opened an office at GSA to implement shared services governmentwide. In 2010, we closed that office and moved it to Treasury. And in 2015, we moved it back to GSA. Deja vu all over again isn't it?

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