USDA Modernizing IT Operations Under Trump’s IDEA Act

Jeff Brody

The Department of Agriculture is modernizing its services as part of the Trump administration’s 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act, Federal News Network reported Friday. The IDEA Act, signed into law in December 2018, directed agencies to establish a strategy to modernize their websites by June 20 and provide electronic access to all paper-based documentation by 2020.

Gary Washington, chief information officer of USDA, told attendees at an Adobe symposium in Washington, D.C. that the department wants to update its information technology infrastructure and consolidate call center operations by July to quickly address farmers’ loan applications. USDA also plans to modernize its Farmers.gov citizen services site and reduce the number of data centers from 38 to two under the General Services Administration’s Centers of Excellence program.

“I love the fact that people can get on their devices now, thanks to this legislation — or will be able to, once it’s fully implemented — and actually access government websites, and actually be able to navigate them,” noted Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, at the Service to the Citizen awards gala.

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