Governments around the world are slowly beginning to understand the importance of connecting citizens both with each other and with information that’s important to them. With the open data movement gathering real pace however, the cost implications are not insignificant for governments that are already stretched financially.
A new tool has been built to try and solve this problem. The service, called The Department of Better Technology, was created by Clay Johnson, and in the spirit of openness, the whole project has been placed onto GitHub for other developers to pick apart and contribute to.
He was inspired to create the project after a succession of government technology projects ended up costing vast sums. For instance a website that catalogues government contracts ended up costing $81 million more than it cost to map the human brain!
His first project was to create a tool, called Procure.io, to make the procurement process much better, both by making it simpler for suppliers to find government projects to bid on, and to help officials better manage procurements. Initial results show more bids coming in for less money.
“Many of the bids that came in were from businesses that had not ordinarily contracted with the federal government before.” Johnson said.
The video below outlines the inspiration behind the project.