Michael Rigas, deputy director at the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM), cited the agency’s low score on the most recent FITARA (Federal IT and Acquisition Reform Act) scores to justify its proposal to move the agency’s functions under the General Services Administration (GSA).

Speaking today at a GovExec Live event, Rigas highlighted the FITARA scores as an indicator of the need for IT modernization.

“GSA has a FITARA scorecard of B+, which is the best in the Federal government. While OPM has done a great job to secure its IT infrastructure, it’s still really aging,” he said.

Indeed, GSA’s efforts around IT modernization earned them a FITARA Award on the last scorecard. But with a battle ahead to convince a skeptical Congress to approve the reorganization plan, OPM is also looking to existing authorities to improve the agency’s technology.

“The goal is to do what we can legally to move things through delegation and subcontracting and allowing shared services agreements or buyback agreements,” he noted.

Rigas also emphasized that the reorganization would not lead to any job losses and OPM employees would see a steady transition.

“We need everyone at OPM to do the work that they’re doing … the work that individuals at OPM are doing today will need to be done tomorrow. There is no magical extra workforce in waiting over at GSA that’s ready to do the work OPM does,” he said.

As a former associate administrator and most recently senior advisor at GSA, Rigas reinforced the idea that the move would not cause a culture clash, but drive further collaboration between the agencies.

“You’ve got the Federal Acquisition Service, which deals with cutting edge technology, helping move agencies to the cloud, securing our IT infrastructure, and buying everything from paper clips to airplanes … and at OPM we have some of that,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of areas, especially with our retirement services, our human resource solutions, and our healthcare and insurance group, that we can find a lot of synergies with a lot of the cutting edge work GSA is doing.”

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