GSA tests crowdsourcing wiki for acquisitions

Collaborative BetterBuy Project being tested online

The General Services Administration is testing a crowdsourcing platform with its BetterBuy online acquisition wiki to get public comments about three upcoming cloud computing procurements.

GSA is considering a number of privacy and legal issues as it explores providing a more transparent and open Web 2.0 environment for acquisition, according to GSA officials who spoke at the Gov. 2.0 Expo on May 27.

The BetterBuy wiki is being used for open discussions about the upcoming procurements for Data.gov, a cloud e-mail system and the GSA ClearPath cloud infrastructure.

The GSA has posted requests for information on the site and wants public comment and ideas. Anyone can comment publicly on the wiki, and the comments are incorporated into documents. The wiki was launched in partnership with the American Council for Technology/Industry Advisory Council and the National Academy for Public Administration.

Lisa Grant, the acquisition group manager, civilian sector, for GSA’s Federal Systems Integration Management Center, said the agency faced legal and technical hurdles in exploring the wiki application. GSA's goal was to develop new formats for getting hard-to-get market research and feedback and presenting information while also complying with all rules and regulations, she said.

“We had a discussion on protests and transparency, and making sure that no one has a competitive advantage" on the wiki, Grant said.

Even though GSA officials use Twitter for relaying news about the procurements, the tweets are mostly invitations for additional public comment, Grant said. If official information is provided, such as a change in a deadline, GSA supplements its tweets with an official publication.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

The Fed 100

Read the profiles of all this year's winners.

Featured

  • Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign event. Image: Shutterstock

    'Buy American' order puts procurement in the spotlight

    Some IT contractors are worried that the "buy American" executive order from President Trump could squeeze key innovators out of the market.

  • OMB chief Mick Mulvaney, shown here in as a member of Congress in 2013. (Photo credit Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

    White House taps old policies for new government makeover

    New guidance from OMB advises agencies to use shared services, GWACs and federal schedules for acquisition, and to leverage IT wherever possible in restructuring plans.

  • Shutterstock image (by Everett Historical): aerial of the Pentagon.

    What DOD's next CIO will have to deal with

    It could be months before the Defense Department has a new CIO, and he or she will face a host of organizational and operational challenges from Day One

  • USAF Gen. John Hyten

    General: Cyber Command needs new platform before NSA split

    U.S. Cyber Command should be elevated to a full combatant command as soon as possible, the head of Strategic Command told Congress, but it cannot be separated from the NSA until it has its own cyber platform.

  • Image from Shutterstock.

    DLA goes virtual

    The Defense Logistics Agency is in the midst of an ambitious campaign to eliminate its IT infrastructure and transition to using exclusively shared, hosted and virtual services.

  • Fed 100 logo

    The 2017 Federal 100

    The women and men who make up this year's Fed 100 are proof positive of what one person can make possibile in federal IT. Read on to learn more about each and every winner's accomplishments.

Reader comments

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