Automating Government Services — A FedScoop Special Report

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Americans rushed to the government for emergency services, agencies had no choice but to automate their workloads and processes to meet the demand.

The IRS, Department of Health and Human Services, Small Business Administration, Department of Labor and others looked to automate some of their most important services amid the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak and corresponding economic downfall to make sure citizens could quickly get the services they needed and that personnel could do their jobs efficiently and effectively during the critical time.

But even before the pandemic, it became clear to the federal government that this was the way the commercial industry was moving and that it would have to follow suit to keep up with the expectations of customers and the workforce. And along the way, agencies have gained immense benefits, adding efficiency, lowering operating costs, improving the accuracy of outputs, and — perhaps most importantly — freeing talented personnel to focus on higher-value work.

Driven largely by robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning and other artificial intelligence-related technologies, automation can emulate human behavior with basic code.

It might sound simple, but the opportunity is huge. In 2020, the General Services Administration, which leads a federal RPA Community of Practice, estimated that current automation programs “operating within agencies are achieving roughly five hours of workload elimination per employee. If the government deployed RPA at scale and achieved only 20 hours of workload elimination per employee, the net capacity gained would be worth $3 billion – and that is only scratching the surface.”

This special report — which will be updated in the weeks following its initial publication — will explore the increasing use of automation across the federal government and the value that it’s bringing to agencies, their workforces, and, ultimately, the American public.


FedScoop Radio

Let’s Talk About IT Ep. 19 — Unleashing Automation in Government, ft. Air Force CIO Lauren Knausenberger

by | Jun 3, 2021

"We take the automation for granted, and in the Department of Defense, we've been left behind," Knausenberger said.


Dynamic information sharing depends on deploying the right automation

by | Jun 23, 2021

Automation enables IT systems to adapt at the ‘speed of need.’ But making automation work with complex security and mission needs requires experienced partners prepared to take on and manage the risks.


DOD takes automation a step further with machine learning

by | May 11, 2021

RPAs are getting a boost from machine learning in the DOD to help link up unmatched financial data.

Emerging Tech

GSA leads rise in automation projects governmentwide

by | May 11, 2021

The Federal RPA Community of Practice is behind much of the increase, despite RPA being but one type of automation.


USPS considering 30 edge AI applications to automate mail processing

by | May 11, 2021

The new capabilities would boost the new Edge Computing Infrastructure Program's ability to process mail.


Government agencies lean into managed services to stay ahead of IT demands

by | Apr 7, 2021

Two-thirds of respondents in a new government survey say their agency is currently using, or considering using, managed service providers to power their IT needs.


5 priorities for the federal RPA Community of Practice in 2021

by | Mar 16, 2021

The RPA CoP is emphasizing process optimization ahead of automation projects, with a handbook planned for this year.


Air Force picks 15 airmen-designed projects to automate menial tasks

by | Feb 23, 2021

Fifteen winning ideas will be given the resources needed to develop and scale across the Air Force.