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Audio: GSA's McClure and Conrad discuss the future of Challenge.gov

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In its first year, the General Services Administration's Challenge.gov program accomplished many of its goals. But the most formidable task may still lie ahead according to GSA officials speaking at a press availability Oct. 5 at GSA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

GSA's primary goal for fiscal 2012 is to ensure the program is "still here next year," said Dave McClure, associate administrator in the office of citizen services and innovative technologies. "We definitely do not want it to go away and we're in a period of intense budget scrutiny."

The program was stood up at a low cost, but there are costs associated with keeping the site up, enhancing it and improving its usability, especially as the service grows in popularity, said McClure. Future funding of GSA's e-Government Fund is still being determined on the Hill.

In March 2011, the e-gov fund faced similar budget uncertainty. At that time Office of Management and Budget decided to release the open-source software code behind the IT Dashboard and TechStat programs. McClure and Kathy Conrad, principal deputy associate administrator at OCSIT, indicated Challenge.gov may not follow the lead of other threatened e-gov programs. Part of the appeal of Challenge.gov is that its an easy-to-use, plug and play tool--not a platform that requires intense development. As such, Challenge.gov may not be a promising candidate for open source release, they said.

Scroll down to listen to a full recording of the press briefing. FierceGovernmentIT will have continued coverage of the Challenge.gov 1-year anniversary event in tomorrow's issue.

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