GSA solicits wisdom of the crowd for acquisition improvements

Officials hope collaboration via social media will federal acquisition process more efficient

The General Services Administration has turned to the Web for help with a new acquisition: an innovative approach to procurement and drafting contract solicitations.

Officials released a request for information on a new Data.gov procurement, according a tweet this morning from GSA’s Federal Systems Integration and Management Center (FEDSIM) and the BetterBuy Pilots Web page.

GSA wants a contractor to host a virtualized environment for Data.gov data sites and datasets to help its Office of Governmentwide Policy extend and improve its citizen-oriented services, according to the RFI.

GSA officials want input from the acquisition community on a requirement to provide a data repository for Data.gov. The Data.gov pilot program is ready to launch today, according to the BetterBuy Pilots Wiki home page.


Related stories:

2.0 takes hold in the acquisition community

Acquisition 2.0 is about good management


The second procurement is known as Clearpath. GSA is looking for comments on both the technical infrastructure for GSA’s Clearpath hosting and for developing the approach for a future acquisition. GSA will launch Clearpath in a few weeks, according to the page.

The crowdsourcing-approach to acquisition is a new avenue for GSA and the government overall. The approach comes from another crowdsourcing initiative called the Better Buy Project. The project sought comments from the acquisition community on how federal agencies can improve their acquisition processes, especially by using social media.

“The entire point of this exercise is to test out how we [can] use collaboration and social media to make the federal acquisition process more efficient and effective. This wiki, along with a new Twitter account to update status, is what GSA is testing out in phase one. We’ll have a few more things for the next phases,” according to the wiki page.

On the Better Buy Project Web site, participants supported using a wiki or other document sharing/editing tool to work out an acquisition’s requirements.

“We have to stop writing up the requirements via multiple draft documents sent around via e-mail,” wrote an anonymous contributor, who first proposed the idea. The wiki-based approach would decrease the amount of time from identifying a need to awarding the contract. “Multiple editors at one time equals efficiency,” the contributor wrote.

On the Data.gov RFI wiki page, a sidebar on the left of the page has links to the various sections of a traditional contract proposal. GSA officials want both help writing the draft solicitation and a technical debate in each section.

“Contribute! This is the most transparent acquisition that GSA FEDSIM has ever attempted,” the site states.

About the Author

Matthew Weigelt is a freelance journalist who writes about acquisition and procurement.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Mon, Mar 29, 2010 Mick K. WASH DC

Smarter, faster . . . probably so, but will it help to dam the flood of protests that follow every major contract bid/award effort?

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group