Building One Contest Platform for a Diverse Government
BY Nancy Scola | Friday, June 11 2010
Federal News Radio has more on the Obama administration's plan to build one common federal government-wide online platform that agencies can use to host the contests and challenges that President Obama has called on them to launch.
It's being called the Innovation Challenge Platform, and it is in the process of being built on top of the software built by Challenge Post, a New York City-based startup.
In an interview with Federal News Radio, the General Services Administration's Bev Godwin talks about why it makes sense for her office to provide contest software government-wide, so that those who want to do in government have tools that they know have already gotten a general seal of approval from the federal government's internal administrators:
We wanted to provide a platform so that agencies have an option without having to go through all the technology lists themselves, but also the policy lists themselves. So, making sure that security is looked at and that privacy issues are looked at; records management; whether it's compliance with Section 508 so it's accessible to people with disabilities; looking at whether we need a cookie waiver, etcetera.
Bringing ChallengePost into the mix is part of a campaign by the Obama White House to tear down the obstacles (real, perceived, or some mix of the two) that might get into the way of those working in government who might otherwise be willing to use competitions to spur innovation. The Office of Management and Budget took a major whack at those obstacles back in March when it issued a memo (pdf) detailing how folks in the federal agencies can answer the President's call while staying on the safe side of rules, regulations, and federal laws.
Some in government aren't waiting for the executive branch's formal platform to officially launch, an event expected to happen in July. First Lady Michelle Obama's Apps for Health Kids already runs on ChallengePost, GSA notes. More here from Federal News Radio's interview with GSA's Bev Godwin on the rollout.