GSA Provides Innovation Challenges Platform, Drives Open Government
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Online Challenge Platform to Simplify Government Challenges at No Cost to Agencies
May 27, 2010
Contact: Caren Auchman, (202) 525-8165
WASHINGTON – The U.S. General Services Administration is helping federal agencies answer President Obama’s call to increase their use of prizes and challenges to spur innovation and further open government by introducing an online innovation challenge platform to federal agencies at no cost.
“President Obama has empowered the public to help solve some of the most difficult problems in government. The use of prizes and challenges spurs innovation and brings ideas to bear on some of our nation’s most pressing problems,” said David McClure, Associate Administrator for GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. “By providing an online challenge and prizes platform governmentwide, GSA is helping agencies promote and harness innovation to more effectively engage with the public.”
President Obama issued the Open Government Directive calling on the federal government to create a more transparent, participatory, and collaborative government and most recently challenged agencies to further these principles by increasing the use of prizes and challenges as tools to promote and inspire participation. Recognizing the power of prizes to mobilize new and diverse talent to tackle a problem, GSA is lowering the barriers for federal government use of prizes and challenges by providing a challenge platform at no cost that will simplify the public engagement process for both agencies and the public.
Available for use by agencies in July, GSA’s platform powered by ChallengePost will allow agencies to post problems and invite the public to suggest, discuss, and judge solutions. ChallengePost was selected from a pool of eight applicants due to the quality of their offer to meet the government's requirements, their experience running challenges, and the ease of use of their products. ChallengePost’s platform is currently being used for AppsforHealthyKids.com, a competition sponsored by First Lady Michelle Obama as part of her nationwide campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation.
In addition to the online challenge platform, GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies will further reduce barriers to public use of challenges and prizes by sharing best practices, developing training and guidelines for issuing challenges, and creating a contract vehicle to make it easier for agencies to access the best challenge products and services to identify and execute challenges.
GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, which fosters public engagement by using innovative technologies to connect citizens to their government, will continue to develop additional tools and practices to help agencies provide more opportunities for the public to engage with their government.
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