There are several well-known examples where the U.S. federal government leverages social media to create more open and transparent participation mechanisms for exchanging information and collaborating with the public. However, not all examples where government is using social tools to interact more effectively with citizens garners attention. Perhaps that's ok - we could end up being saturated with more information than necessary but it is sometimes a challenge to locate these outreach efforts and encourage public/government engagement. A recent e-mail drew my attention to an effort underway next week that I thought was interesting and important enough to pass along (see below). Besides e-mail and a form-based survey, the effort to solicit ideas includes use of Google Moderator. as well as related discussions at the Open House Project and Sunlightlabs Google Groups.
CONTRACTING OVERSIGHT SUBCOMMITTEE TO EXAMINE HOW THE GOVERNMENT TRACKS CONTRACTS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, chaired by Chairman Claire McCaskill, will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, September 29 to examine the way the federal government tracks information relating to federal contracts. The Subcommittee will assess the problems of the decentralized and cumbersome systems presently in place, and discuss current plans to develop a new platform for integrating these systems to ensure that goals of efficiency, transparency, and accessibility are met.
Currently, the federal government retains contract information in multiple outdated and inefficient databases maintained by various government agencies. The federal government has begun efforts to streamline and improve the system by planning to create the Integrated Acquisition Environment, and the General Services Administration (GSA) is planning to move forward with awarding the Architecture Operations Contract Support (AOCS) contract to develop a new platform for integrating information relating to government contracting. GSA is expected to award the contract by the end of the month.
What should our priorities be for the Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight?
What hearings would you like to see? What contract or program needs additional oversight? What laws, regulations, and policies need to be changed?
I'll need all the suggestions and support I can get -- I'll draw heavily on your input as we move forward toward a system that better serves the government and the taxpayer.
- Senator Claire McCaskill
Don’t have a Google account? Submit your suggestions via email to Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight staff at contracting_oversight[at]mccaskill.senate.gov.
477 people have submitted 196 suggestions and cast 4,800 votes
Calling for question suggestions
The Government Services Administration (GSA) is bidding a project right now that will unify all federal government contracting information in a single architecture. This is the first step in a new plan to improve and streamline the government’s multiple contracting databases. But what shape will that new system take?
The HSGAC Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight will hold a hearing on Tuesday, September 29 to examine what such an important public resource will -- and should -- look like. Witnesses include Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO; William Woods, GAO; Adam Hughes, OMB Watch; and A.R. Trey Hodgkins, III, TechAmerica.
Chairman Claire McCaskill is asking for your suggestions on questions for the hearing.
Use the form below to submit your questions on what we can expect from a new federal contracting database system.
Chairman McCaskill Reaches Out for Contracting Oversight Subcommittee Ideas
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Chairman Claire McCaskill will soon be heading up her first hearing of the newly formed Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight and today she has reached out to experts in the field of contracting accountability to ask for advice about what they believe she should address first. McCaskill will often rely on the help of auditors, inspectors general, contractors, chambers of commerce, watchdog groups, and others to investigate contracting abuses, and she plans to solicit advice from this community regularly.
McCaskill invited members of this community to submit or vote on ideas for the subcommittee through an online discussion forum (requires a Google account) or by e-mailing the Subcommittee at whistleblowers[at]mccaskill.senate.gov.