USDA’s Gary Washington: IT Modernization Through Centers of Excellence a ‘Change Management Effort’

Gary Washington

Gary Washington, chief information officer at the Agriculture Department, has said he considers as a “change management effort” the information technology modernization initiative being carried out at USDA through the White House’s centers of excellence, Federal News Radio reported Friday.

“At the end of our engagement the ideas that we will have implemented across our department in every mission area will basically change the way the Department of Agriculture does business moving forward,” he said at the ACT-IAC Igniting Innovation awards event in Washington, D.C.

Washington said such an effort calls for USDA to prepare its workforce and position the agency to oversee, maintain and operate the new environment.

He noted that IT and process modernization efforts will extend to other mission areas in addition to the updated Farmers.gov portal.

“In our market and regulatory program areas, [the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service] will be automating their whole permitting process,” he said.

“We are having conversations with the Food Safety and Inspection Service about their import-export certificates and digitizing that, and the loan process at Rural Development is a big one on the slate,” Washington added.

USDA and the General Services Administration will host on June 27 a planning session to discuss their procurement strategies with contractors as part of the CoE program’s second phase, the report noted.

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