General Services Administration

FBO/ESRS/FSRS Modernization

The Problem:

GSA’s Integrated Award Environment (IAE) is a Presidential initiative to adopt all forms of innovation to improve systems used by stakeholders seeking to work with or receive financial assistance (i.e., grants, loans, contracts) from the Federal Government. The IAE-managed systems include CFDA, PPIRS, CPARS, WDOL, FBO, SAM, FPDS, FSRS, ESRS, and FAPIIS. Collectively, these systems have nearly two million registered users and manage almost $4 trillion in annual federal awards. Because the 10 systems were developed independently, they use different and often outdated technologies, duplicate common functionalities, and have inconsistent design, resulting in high maintenance costs and an overall inconsistent/poor user experience.

The Solution:

Octo is assisting GSA with modernizing the IAE systems by implementing Human Centered Design (HCD) techniques using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) while applying DevSecOps methods. We staff key program personnel such as the Release Train Engineer, Design Architect and Runway Architect who help guide the Agile Release Train to ensure the program’s vision is implemented smoothly. Meanwhile, Octo’s Agile teams are consolidating legacy application functionality into a single, secure, cloud-based application – – using a consistent information architecture, the latest open-source technology stack, and a cloud-based modern microservice architecture.

Key Takeaways
  • Octo is helping GSA modernize its siloed, complex, redundant legacy systems into a single, secure, cloud-based system with a consistent user experience.
  • Octo’s application of SAFe has enabled multiple vendors and development teams stay on track to deliver features, applications, and systems as planned.
  • Octo’s application of DevSecOps methods continuously embeds accessibility and security into all development, testing, deployment, and operational support activities.

The Benefits

With Octo’s assistance, GSA has been able to successfully retire four legacy systems including CFDA, WDOL, PPIRS (merged with CPARS), and FBO, with more planned for 2020. The new application,, provides end users with myriad benefits, including common, fully responsive design; CAC/PIV card-enabled, multi-factor authentication; improved performance, fault tolerance, and scalability.