Could online comments become part of procurement?
- By Alice Lipowicz
- Jun 17, 2009
A weeklong online discussion on improving the Recovery.gov Web site
functioned similarly to a traditional request for information
contracting procedure and offered additional benefits in comparison to
RFIs, according to an after-action report.
The ideas and information provided by the 22,376 participants
provided effective guidance for identifying information technology
solutions, and visibility for information technology vendors, the
report published June 15 said.
“In this way, the dialogue functioned analogously to an RFI
process, allowing for the collection of information about, and
comparison between, the capabilities offered by different solutions,”
states the After-Action Report from the National Academy of Public
Administration, a co-sponsor of the dialogue.
The Recovery Dialogue on IT Solutions held from April 27 to May
6 actually offered more benefits than a traditional RFI process, the
“Its scope and format allowed the surveying of more potential
solutions more quickly than is possible with a traditional RFI process;
and the ability of other participants to ask probing questions of those
offering products and services produced a more critical, informed
assessment than would otherwise be available,” the report said.
The dialogue offered discussion on improving Recovery.gov, which
is the Web site for reporting on federal spending under the $787
billion economic stimulus law.
The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, which
operates Recovery.gov, sponsored the dialogue along with the Public
Administration Academy, which released the after-action report.
Overall, 22,376 unique visitors spent an average of 7.5 minutes
participating in the dialogue, the report noted. “Ultimately, the
Recovery Board’s vision of a truly crowd-sourced analysis of potential
recovery solutions was powerfully realized. The end result was not just
a repository of good ideas, but a passionate, thoughtful community that
can be engaged repeatedly as Recovery.gov evolves to fulfill the
President’s commitment to ‘unprecedented transparency and
accountability,’ ” the report said.
Participants included 101 workers from IBM, Microsoft and
Google, and a geographically diverse group of experts from several
“Workers at multinational Fortune 500 companies interacted with
the owners of 10-person businesses. Web designers came together with
acquisition specialists, and financial services experts shared ideas
with database specialists,” the report said.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.