The GSA Technology Accountability Act would require the agency to give Congress an annual run-down of work coming out of its citizen services fund.

The GSA Technology Accountability Act would require the agency to give Congress an annual run-down of work coming out of its citizen services fund. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House passes GSA transparency bill to track tech projects

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, said he introduced the bill to respond to the agency's misrepresentations about the capabilities of the government-run digital identity service

The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan transparency bill by voice vote on May 6 aimed at technology projects at the General Services Administration. 

The GSA Technology Accountability Act — introduced by Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and cosponsored by Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va. — would require GSA to give Congress an annual run-down of work coming out of GSA’s Federal Citizen Services Fund and Acquisition Services Fund. 

Sessions said he got interested in GSA oversight after a 2023 watchdog report on the government’s single sign-on service,, that found that GSA misled other agencies about the digital identity security standards met by 

“The government’s internal technology consultancy is mostly opaque in its operation, resulting in the lack of competition and a few instances of serious failures from the GSA’s products,” Sessions said on the House floor Monday. is managed by GSA’s Technology Transformation Services, which is part of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service. 

“With, the Technology Transformation Service failed,” said Sessions. “Now, we are going to provide the transparency that is required in this bill.”

The passage of the bill is the latest in congressional reaction to the watchdog’s findings. The House Oversight and Accountability Committee, where Sessions chairs a subcommittee, also began an investigation into the service last year.

Sessions has also previously argued that Congress should defund 18F, a GSA tech consultancy, because of 

That idea didn’t make it into the final 2024 spending package, although Congress did include provisions for GSA to provide lawmakers with a spending plan for the Federal Citizen Services Fund in the 2024 funding package.

The latest bill would require GSA to report to Congress annually on products coming out of the Federal Citizen Services Fund and the Acquisition Services Fund with details like anticipated completion date and project costs. 

TTS manages the Federal Citizen Services Fund, which is focused on cross-agency digital services such as USAGov, meant to be a “front door” to government online. The fund receives appropriations from Congress, as well as agency reimbursements and contributions. 

The Acquisition Services Fund is a full-cost-recovery revolving fund at GSA that finances most of the operations of the Federal Acquisition Services. The cost recovery comes via fees charged to agencies for using its services, such as IT solutions or supplies.

GSA’s misleading statements to agencies that about its level of identity proofing “left government websites exposed to fraudulent users and removed a critical barrier for criminals to improperly claim government benefits,” Sessions said Monday, pointing to problems with fraud in government programs during the pandemic as bad actors leveraged identity theft to get funding — a trend identity proofing is meant to combat.

Lawmakers have previously questioned GSA officials about the possibility that allowed fraudsters to go unchecked in government systems during a hearing last year. At the time, then-FAS Commissioner Sonny Hashmi told them that there wasn’t any evidence of that. 

More recently, GSA announced that it is adding facial recognition technology to this spring as a way to meet the security standard at the center of the watchdog’s report. GSA currently uses data matches, such as validating state-issued IDs, to verify the identities of users. 

Reps. Jake LaTurner, R-Kan., and Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., both voiced support for the proposal on the House floor. The bill's fate in the Senate is uncertain. So far, the legislation doesn't have a Senate sponsor doesn't have a Senate sponsor.

A GSA spokesperson told Nextgov/FCW that the agency generally doesn’t comment on pending legislation when asked to respond to the proposal’s House passage.