OPM seeks tech ideas for job site

For the second time in less than three months, the Office of Personnel Management has requested information to transform its USAJobs Web site into "Recruitment One Stop," an interactive online recruitment site and one of the Bush administration's 24 e-government initiatives.

According to companies that plan to respond, the June 11 request for information (RFI) leaves open to interpretation technical questions that could determine the success of the project.

The Office of Management and Budget, for example, recently said it would urge e-government initiative developers to use Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) or Microsoft Corp's .Net, considered by some to be the two most prominent development frameworks in the industry.

"OMB just said all the e-government initiatives should have a J2EE platform, but the technical [specifications] in the RFI clearly indicate that's not the case" with OPM, said Linda Rix, co-chief executive officer of Avue Technologies Inc., which provides Web-based recruitment services for more than 35 federal agencies and departments.

The RFI also says that the current USAJobs system uses Active Server Page coding language, to which OPM switched recently, said Bryan Hochstein, vice president of business development for QuickHire, an Alexandria, Va., developer of automated recruiting software.

"USAJobs' performance has been degraded since [OPM] made the transition," said Hochstein, whose company has more than 30 federal customers.

An OPM spokesman noted that the RFI says the agency "is open to a full range of contracting models and system support and delivery systems."

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