We’ve decided to do something crazy. On Tuesday afternoon, someone handed us a copy of the Recovery.gov 2.0 RFP and we thought: what if we try something truly radical here. What if we opened up the process of government contracting by bidding on this thing? We together– not just we meaning The Sunlight Foundation— are going to bid on redoing Recovery.gov to learn more about the process of government contracting, and to try and build what is perhaps the biggest federal transparency-related website.
We aren’t government contractors. We’ve never done it before. We haven’t a clue what we’re doing. We don’t even know if we’re eligible. But who cares? We know we have a talented technical team here, and we know we have a great community of people around us. And we know we can do better than a lot of the government contracting establishment for a lot less money.
We need your help bidding on this and building a credible document. This is a short turnaround RFP — it is due Friday, June 26th– and together I think we can do something amazing. Let’s write our response together, figure out what the best solution is, and give the Recovery board our ideal response.
Together (and that’s the only way it is going to happen) we can make something amazing happen. We’re taking our bid and opening it up for anyone to edit on the Sunlight Labs wiki
Maybe we’ll fail, maybe we’ll succeed. We have only a few days to figure it out, but whatever we have on the wiki page by Friday June 26th at 11am Eastern time, I will take, edit for formatting, spelling and grammar, compile, and deliver to the RAT board. Even if we don’t fail, we will have created a standard by which we can judge the recovery.gov website when it is released.
I’ll be in the #transparency room on irc.freenode.net to answer any questions and we can figure this out. Is this crazy? Completely. I’m sure some people even in our community will call us nuts. But trying to change a system is hard, and sometimes requires experimentation. I hope any and all will join us.