By Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com

Watchdog: OMB and GSA Need a Better Plan For Shared Payroll Services

GAO says planners lack roadmap to monitor agency roles in switch to new software.

A White House-initiated plan to bring more of a shared services approach to payroll faces risks because agencies haven’t mapped out an implementation plan or communicated potential cost savings to stakeholders, the Government Accountability Office found.

The Office of Management and Budget, as part of its ongoing embrace of shared services as a cross-agency policy goal, has been teaming with the General Services Administration on, among other projects, a new payroll software called NewPay, which would modernize agency technology and economize services to multiple agencies.

In September 2018, “GSA awarded a 10-year, $2.5 billion NewPay agreement to two commercial teams to provide payroll, and work schedule and leave management services using Software-as-a -Service,” GAO noted.  That cloud-based computing model “delivers one or more applications and all the resources—operating system, programming tools, and underlying infrastructure to run them—for use on demand.” 

The problem, GAO auditors said in the report dated March 7 but released on April 8, is that OMB and GSA “have not documented key decision-making roles and responsibilities related to the implementation of NewPay. Until they develop a monitoring plan which includes performance goals and milestones, transparent reporting tools, and a process for capturing lessons learned, and documenting key roles, they risk implementation challenges that could cause gaps in service or costly delays.” 

In addition, there is no process for giving customer agencies information on provider services, pricing and performance, which would ease their transition to the new system, GAO added. And the potential costs savings are not being sufficiently tracked, GAO warned, in a way that would document progress toward OMB’s goal of saving $2 billion over 10 years.

The shared services effort comes at a time when OMB is moving to relieve the Office of Personnel Management of many traditional duties and move them to GSA or the White House.

GAO noted that efficiencies from greater agency sharing of services have been pursued for decades under multiple administrations, including efforts by OPM that began in 2001. The Trump team’s  “proposed marketplace model has the potential to make the marketplace more effective by reducing demand uncertainty among shared services providers and providing more choices for customers,” auditors wrote after reviewing data from June 2017 to March 2019. GAO credited the administration with plans to create Service Management Offices and Task Order Review Boards to work with agencies to adopt standards for common management activities” for sharing payroll services, but noted that OMB and GSA’s plans are still being finalized.

GAO made four recommendations for enhancing chances for producing actual cost savings. They include having OMB’s shared services policy officer work with GSA to finalize a detailed monitoring plan for implementing NewPay, with performance measures and a timeline. Officials should also clarify the roles and responsibilities of agency players in cooperating to interpret payroll rule and regulations. Provider information on available services and prices should be updated and circulated, GAO said, and future cost savings should be better tracked to reassure congressional overseers that the effort is paying off.

OMB read the recommendations but neither accepted nor rejected them, GAO noted, saying only that it may update its shared services policy in the future.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.