Trump sharply cuts back an Obama-era office for speeding up federal technology

Key Points
  • President Obama created the office after government computers handling the start of Obamacare were overwhelmed with demand.
  • Known as 18F, the unit has fewer than half the 300 workers it had 18 months ago, says Fedscoop, a website that tracks government tech news.
  • Under Trump, the federal workforce has been shaved to 2.088 million from 2.097 million, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as he meets with county sheriffs during a listening session in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Donald Trump has shrunk the size of an office created by President Barack Obama to speed up federal technology, a new report says.

Known as 18F, the unit within the General Services Administration has fewer than half the 300 workers it had 18 months ago, according to Fedscoop, a website that tracks tech news in government.

The reported 18F attrition rate during the government's last fiscal year, which ended in September, outpaced that of the federal payroll as a whole, other figures show.

According to a report last month from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, the federal government employed 2.088 million workers on Sept. 30, 2017, down slightly from 2.097 million a year earlier.

Obama created 18F after website problems slowed initial sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act. The office was tasked with getting government departments to adopt more user-friendly technologies.

Since then, though, other efforts have sprung up outside of government to help improve American's access to online services.

One, called Code for America, has implemented technology-improvement projects that it says have reduced the average time to fill out applications for some federal and state services.

Read the full report on the GSA's 18F office here.