From Legacy to Modern: How Artificial Intelligence and Automation are Shaping the Future of a Digital-First Government

The federal government provides information and services to approximately 400 million people each year, including individuals, families, businesses, and organizations. With over half of the 80 billion hours spent interacting with public resources now coming from mobile devices, technology has transformed the way people engage with government services.

Recognizing the importance of digital transformation, the Office of Management and Budget has been driving the government’s shift towards a digital-first approach. In September, OMB released new policy guidance (M-23-22) outlining accessibility for diverse users as a key requirement for federal agencies regarding their websites, digital services, and web and mobile applications. These mandates prioritize adopting emerging technologies to improve citizen services, enhance data security, and streamline inter-agency collaborations. As a result, the federal government is taking steps to modernize its services and better serve the needs of its citizens.

As the federal government moves towards a digital-first approach, it is increasingly turning to emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, automation, machine learning and cloud computing. These technologies have the potential to enhance cost savings, operational efficiency, and service delivery by automating tasks and enabling complex problem-solving and strategic decision-making.

For example, the General Services Administration has already implemented its Truman software bot, named after President Harry Truman, to streamline the federal acquisition process. Truman has already saved over 5,000 hours of employee time by automatically reviewing 4,000 new Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) offers. As the government continues to modernize its services and processes, it will increasingly rely on these technologies to deliver better services to citizens and enhance inter-agency collaborations.

In addition to Truman, the General Services Administration has also rolled out its CLARA software bot, which has helped to speed up the procurement process. When unliquidated debts are uncovered, CLARA can swiftly generate the necessary de-obligation adjustment to address them. Once the modification is prepared and ready for signature, CLARA immediately alerts the contracting officer, ensuring an efficient closure of the award in the procurement system.

According to GSA data, CLARA has successfully completed 15,000 transactions and secured 6,000 awards since its inception. This has resulted in a considerable reduction of over 17,000 employee hours. By automating these complex tasks, the federal government is able to save significant amounts of time and resources, while also improving overall efficiency and accuracy. As the use of AI and automation continues to expand, we can expect to see more benefits like these for both the government and its citizens.

Faster, Customized Service = Happier Customers

The use of AI-powered automation has the potential to greatly benefit federal agencies by allowing them to efficiently process large amounts of data, leading to faster service delivery and increased citizen satisfaction. By automating tasks like form filling, data input, and document processing, software bots can help to free up agency personnel to focus on more strategic, critical public service delivery tasks.

When combined with AI, automation can also enhance digital experiences through personalized interactions. Government websites and applications can provide users with instant assistance and tailored recommendations by utilizing chatbots or virtual assistants powered by AI. This can greatly improve the user experience by making it easier for citizens to access information, complete transactions, or seek assistance 24/7 without the need for human intervention.

As a result, citizens are more likely to be satisfied with the services they receive, leading to increased trust in the government. By leveraging the power of AI and automation, federal agencies can continue to modernize their services and processes, improving overall efficiency and service delivery while also enhancing the digital experiences of their citizens.

In addition to faster service delivery and increased citizen satisfaction, AI-powered automation can also help to cut costs and boost efficiency within federal agencies. One of the key advantages of software bots is their scalability, which allows agency personnel to handle increasing amounts of work during peak periods without needing extra labor or resources. This capability enables agencies to maintain high service levels while successfully managing budget restrictions, making it a cost-effective solution for federal agencies.

AI-powered automation can also aid federal agencies in digital transformation by facilitating seamless integration across various systems and platforms. Software bots can bridge the gap between legacy and modern technology, enhancing collaboration between agencies and promoting a comprehensive approach to service delivery. This ensures that agencies can continue to deliver high-quality services to citizens while also keeping up with the latest technological advancements.

Looking ahead, the future holds even more significant potential for AI and automation to revolutionize federal government mission delivery. We can expect further streamlining of operations, optimized resource allocation, and even more enhanced citizen services. With a forward-looking approach, the government will be better equipped to meet the increasing demands of public service in the years to come.

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