We're seeing something new from Washington, sites which are being used to help figure out how to better serve citizens.
Toward that ends we're seeing sites used to get ideas as to how to run agencies better, and how to improve fundamental processes involved in areas like acquisition, the purchase of the stuff people need to do their job. Some innovation sites are internal, focusing on ideas from the rank and file that management needs to hear about. Some innovation sites are outward-facing, trying to figure out how better to work with the public.
The American Council for Technology/Industry Advisory Council, the National Academy for Public Administration and GSA have launched has launched the BetterBuy Project. The focus is on our government can do a better job of buying stuff needed to serve the country.
Their blog has an explanation, in brief:
The federal government spends approximately $530
billion annually on the acquisition of a wide range of goods and
services to meet mission needs, and the acquisition process represents
one of the most important and complex areas of collaboration between
government and the private sector. As demand increases, the complexity
of what program managers need and what acquisition officials are buying
has also increased. Government acquisition officials are being asked to
do more with fewer resources. To provide the government with the goods
and services it needs, the private sector is faced with an equally
complex and challenging environment. Think of the hundreds of thousands
of buys the government makes each year and the demand on the private
sector to respond to those requests.
The BetterBuy Project
team believes that we can increase transparency and openness in the
process, potentially reducing costs to both the government and private
sector, ultimately allowing government to deliver more value to
taxpayers through the use of collaborative technologies. This vision,
coupled with encouragement from the Obama Administration for federal
agencies to use emerging social media platforms to share information
and generate discussion on key issues, resulted in this collaborative
effort between the General Services Administration, the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council and the National Academy of Public Administration.
Our success depends on your ideas and support as we test those ideas.