Say hello to OpenFBO.
Inspired by a recent General Services Administration request for information to create a “new and improved” FedBizOpps, OpenFBO is a community experiment to re-imagine the next generation FBO.
After reading GSA’s RFI, and working with NuCivic and CivicActions on their own submissions, I began thinking about what I would do if I was in charge of FedBizOpps, leaning on what’s been done with FBOpen, OpenRFPs and particularly former Philadelphia Chief Data Officer Mark Headd’s leadership and experiments with GitHub-based procurement.
I started thinking, what if the RFI, request for proposal, the development of FedBizOpps and everything around it was more open and collaborative. What if all RFIs and RFPs were public repos where anyone could engage more in the procurement process? What are the other possibilities for making the process fair for small businesses? How can it be a more enjoyable experience for the federal workers who need to use it on a daily basis.
Inspired by Mark’s idea of GitHub-based procurement, I created a simple brand (“OpenFBO”) and website (openfbo.org) using GitHub pages, and am leveraging GitHub’s issues feature for idea submissions. There are currently two repos (one for the website and one for the first RFI).
As with any project like this, it’s also a way for me to learn more about the federal procurement process in the context of a community project. I have a lot to learn and hope OpenFBO is the mechanism for doing so. I imagine this will also open my eyes to community engagement via GitHub, which I’m really looking forward to.
So, to start things off, we’re issuing our first RFI: