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Monday, June 23, 2014

Plan ahead for protests

Innovators: Aneesh Chopra says open data is key if government wants to solve big problems   (An interview with Aneesh Chopra)
   Aneesh Chopra become the nation’s first chief technology officer under President Obama, a position that oversaw a series of federal initiatives to make government data more accessible to the private sector and general public. That experience serves as the backbone of Chopra’s recently released book, “Innovative State: How New Technologies Can Transform Government.”

The bungled roll out of HealthCare.gov has been well documented. What stands out to you as a key lesson for the government and the private sector to learn from that experience?
The No. 1 lesson is we have to tackle is fixing the procurement system.

If you do a fair and open competition, and you pick something, you know the first thing that’s going to happen is someone’s going to protest. You have to factor that into your time cycle.
Is the first step to reform eliminating procurement protests?
Life is generally about balance. There are obviously circumstances under which protesting is warranted ... but you want to have more skin in the game.  Protesting for no reason as part of a way of doing business isn’t sustainable, nor do I think is it the right thing. There has to be a better way.

In general, lowering the barriers to entry and increasing the capacity of the system to root out mistakes, errors or outright fraud, those have to be the guiding principles. Are there people in the U.S. who could have helped build HealthCare.gov in a more cost effective manner, and with greater agility and responsibility? I’m pretty sure the answer would be yes.

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