Craigslist founder helps HHS with idea competition

Craig Newmark offering aid on HHS Innovates

Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, is helping the Health and Human Services Department publicize  its employee-only HHS Innovates idea competition.

“The rank and file of any organization, public or private sector, they are the folks who know what is going on, and how to do the things maybe a little better,” Newmark said in a YouTube conversation about HHS Innovates posted on his blog June 21.

Newmark, who also is advising HHS on the competition, appears in the video with Todd Park, HHS' chief technology officer. Park published a link to Newmark's blog entry in a June 22 statement on the HHS Open Government Web site.


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HHS intends to run the employee-only competition on an HHS intranet site twice a year. Employees from the department's nine agencies have been working in teams to submit ideas, which are being voted on, for improving departmental operations.

Six teams have submitted 126 ideas in the employee-only competition, Park said.

Starting this week, all employees will be able to vote on the best ideas at an internal HHS Web site and the winners will be announced in August. The top three teams will each receive $2,500.

“Some of the innovations are about inventing new processes to save time and resources, others are using technology to address health issues, a variety of health information technology applications, “ Newmark wrote in his blog. "So far, it [has] exceeded all of our wildest dreams."

About the Author

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

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