Innovation in government is requisite amid the current climate of budget cuts and political gridlock. Endeavoring to spur more innovative federal initiatives, FedScoop created this shortlist to recognize agency platforms that push government to be a better steward of taxpayer money. The hope is that by recognizing these beacons of innovation in government, federal leaders will rethink their agency’s standard operating procedures.
Below are some inspiring federal initiatives that are changing government as we know it:
LAUNCH is a public-private partnership, created by NASA, with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the State Department and Nike. The partnership seeks to identify and accelerate high-impact ideas or technologies and to search for innovations with the potential to make tangible impacts on society. LAUNCH 2013 has an online platform for challenges, encouraging entrepreneurs and creative minds to share revolutionary ideas and prototypes for sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest problems.
Challenge.gov is the federal government’s online platform for challenges and prize competitions. Administered by the General Services Administration, the portal allows government to crowdsource solutions to important initiatives via contests, saving taxpayer money and driving innovation. The portal also provides an opportunity for citizen involvement in government, giving Americans a chance to literally cash in on their creative solutions.
We the People
It may not be the newest platform, but We the People deserves recognition nonetheless. Whether you are joining fellow STOP CISPA advocates, signing petitions on immigration reform or just gauging the public’s view on current legislation, this online service is a great way to get involved in government. We the people is a platform on the White House’s website where individuals can create and sign petitions to call for government action on important topics. Petitions that garner enough support and signatures are reviewed by the White House and receive an official response.
In trying to minimize the federal workspace footprint, GSA this year began trying out a new approach to optimize government office space called hoteling. Hoteling eliminates the personal office; instead, employees reserve their daily workspace using online booking software. Depending on availability, feds can reserve conference rooms, small collaborative spaces or individual cubicles in a location of their choosing each day. This technology allows GSA’s renovated D.C. headquarters to support more than twice as many workers, according to Casey Coleman, GSA’s chief information officer. Other benefits include increased collaboration, decreased real-estate costs and energy savings and optimization.
This request for proposals pilot project, developed under the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows program, gives small technology firms easier access to the government’s nearly $77 billion IT supply chain and provides federal agencies the support and innovation they need to do more with less. RFP-EZ is particularly beneficial to companies lacking the experience and administrative support generally required for the standard government RFP process. During the pilot period alone, 270 firms that had never done business with government before came forward with proposals.
The Veterans Affairs Department created IntegratedEthics as a comprehensive model for improving ethics in healthcare organizations. Moving away from the ethics board model, IntegratedEthics was developed with the help of numerous stakeholders incorporating new policies, standards, training programs, measures, tools and structures in all 152 VA regional medical facilities.
IdeaHub is an ideation process – an innovative way of creating, developing and communicating ideas. The Transportation Security Administration was first to pilot an ideation program, followed by the State Department’s Sounding Board and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Idea Lab. The Transportation Department via IdeaHub was first to implement an ideation program departmentwide. IdeaHub allows Transportation Department employees to collaborate online, develop ideas together, and rate, improve and discuss the innovative ideas derived from their collaboration.