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Government Tech Agency 18F in Decline

Fedscoop reports that 18F, an office within the General Services Administration (GSA) tasked with improving how the government delivers services to the public, has less than half the employees it had 18 months ago.

Virtually all this attrition is likely voluntary and much of it includes senior staff.

[I]t is notable that the Trump administration has either been unable or unwilling to recruit large numbers of technologists to serve. Even today, 18F is not hiring. This means that virtually the entire staff, who are hired for two-year terms with an option to extend for a second term, will be gone before Trump’s first term is over.

Some of this decline may be a result of an erosion of support for its mission. From its inception, detractors both inside and outside of government, have argued that 18F unfairly competes with the private sector. Part of this objection arises from the fact that 18F does not have its own appropriated budget, but rather funds itself through cost-recovery from its work for other agencies.

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