General Services Administration (GSA) – FAR Data Collection Payroll Pilot Application Developed Using an Agile Approach

The Challenge

Historically, reporting processes for many government contractors working with federal agencies have been done manually. The process was time consuming and cumbersome.

In 2014, the Federal Government implemented the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA) in order to make federal spending information easily accessible to the public. And Section 5 of the DATA Act also requires government agencies to overhaul many of their reporting processes.

The Work

The application’s development was supported by Area330, an Agile software development unit within NuAxis. The Area330 team extended user research and interaction design initially completed by 18F, the government’s digital services agency, to create the software. They also worked through the GSA’s Lightweight Authority to Operate (L-ATO) and Section 508 compliance certifications, which were required before releasing the applications in the GSA’s cloud infrastructure. The application was built using NodeJS, Express, and Angular JavaScript frameworks.

The Results

As of May 2017, the pilot is in the data collection and maintenance phase. As required by Section 5 of the DATA Act, the pilot must gather data from users of a centralized reporting tool over a period of 12 months. The data collected will inform Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance to government agencies in regards to how financial reporting can be made more efficient. The pilot is expected to substantially cut down the time required to complete the entire payroll reporting process and also standardize reporting, eliminate unnecessary duplication in reporting and reduce costs.