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GSA Tech Team 18F Marks First Decade, Eyes Future

18F, a digital consulting office within the General Services Administration, is at work on three projects with federal agencies, it said this week in announcing its 10th anniversary. The office has completed 455 initiatives in 10 years.

A light source illuminates a room through an open door with floating cyan symbols representing code or tech.
18F, a federal team of digital service experts within the General Services Administration (GSA), marked its 10th anniversary this week while highlighting ongoing projects with linchpin government agencies.

Named for the address of the GSA headquarters in Washington, D.C., 18F is a digital consulting office in GSA’s Technology Transformation Services (TTS). First launched in March 2014 by a group of Presidential Innovation Fellows, it became part of TTS in 2016. 18F serves as a digital consultancy to help federal agencies buy, build and share modern software.

“18F has helped show agencies what is possible with government technology while also helping TTS evolve into a multifaceted organization that provides a variety of technology services and best practices to the government,” TTS Director Ann Lewis said in a news release Tuesday.

In the decade since its 2014 creation, 18F has completed 455 projects for 34 agencies and worked with the Executive Office of the President, the Library of Congress and the U.S. House of Representatives — but in announcing its anniversary, the organization also noted three initiatives currently underway to enhance, and

18F is working with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to improve the way agencies can request and use .gov domains on

The shift to .gov domains for government agencies is an essential one, which the National Association of State Chief Information Officers has urged for years, as it provides enhanced security features. Federal cybersecurity grants can help governments reach this goal, and state governments can help build capacity for smaller agencies in their states, as seen in New Hampshire and Indiana.

“Decreasing the barriers to entry and reducing the amount of friction in the process were our guiding stars with this,” Alexander McElya, senior analyst and external communications lead of the .gov program for CISA, told Government Technology in February.

The interface digitizes a previous process that involved a mailed letter signed by an agency’s highest elected official; the new process takes about 15 minutes.

18F is also working with the United States Digital Service to support the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of the Treasury Direct File Project, to offer taxpayers a free digital tool to file taxes. About 50,000 people have used this tool so far, although it is currently a pilot program.

The group’s third project involves working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help emergency members and the public better understand weather information and guidance, through a reimagined

18F’s many noteworthy projects completed include improving the Forest Service’s online permit and application process, and smoothing the workflow for the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s civil rights violation complaint submissions. The organization also developed a De-risking Guide to support federal and state agencies in completing their own technology projects.