RFP-EZ Marketplace

Software platform to make buying web work better for everyone

Presidential Innovation Fellows

Weekly Update #4

Our motto is “RFP-EZ Ships.” We’ve shipped software for every week we’ve been in our fellowship program like SOWComposer (week 1), Our APIs (week 2 and 3), and our Parser for Contracting Opportunities (week 4). Here in week 5, we’re launching a different kind of project: FormTimer

This week’s been about three letters: P-R-A. PRA actually stands for a few things inside of the government, but the one we’re talking about today is the Paperwork Reduction Act – a law that governs how the government can collect information from the public. When the federal government collects information, a Paperwork Reduction Act process gets kicked off to ensure that government is keeping that information collection as burden-free and as easy (RFP-EZ, even!) as possible, and to make sure the public has a chance to comment on that form before it gets deployed.

We want that too. We want our forms to be as burden-free and as simple to use as possible. Obviously the more people we have participating with us, the better. So we’re not only going to comply with the legislation, we’re also going to build tools to make compliance easier and more within the spirit of the law.

FormTimer – what Jed’s been working on this week – is the start of that. This software is really simple – it lets government time and see in real time how long it takes for people to fill out forms. By embedding a bit of javascript on a page, the software will time citizen interactions with forms and report back how long, on average it takes for people to fill out our forms. Here’s a demo

Hopefully this kind of tool can be used and implemented by anybody who wants to drive down the amount of time it takes their users to fill out their forms using live, real user data to make sure the discussions being had are based on real, live data rather than estimates which may not be the actual tangible outcomes of decisions being made.

Speaking of greater public participation, the other thing we’ve done this week? Finalized our rough outline for what we’re on slate for building by the end of the project. You can see the whole spec here and we’d love your comments. But in summary we’re working on the following pieces of functionality:

SOWComposer

You’ve already seen this – it’s a way to quickly make great statements of work that Contracting Officers love.

BidMaker

This is the other side of SOWComposer – it’s a way for small businesses to create great, compelling bids that are easily reviewable by contracting officers and program offices.

BidMonitor

BidMonitor helps contracting officers go through and sort incoming bids with ease by automating some of the more monotonous tasks and making it lightning fast to sort and review applications.

Marketplace

The Marketplace is where SOWComposer and BidMaker meet – a way for small businesses to sort through opportunities and find ones they’d like to bid on.

Portfolio Browser

Portfolio browser is a place where contracting officers and program offices can see offerings from the firms that want to do business with the government, alongside their historical work profiles and ballpark prices.

For more specifics, check the documentation. We’d love your feedback.

Finally, Adam’s made it home this week on the Road Tour for the Presidential Innovation Fellows, spreading the word to the west coast that RFP-EZ is happening. Check out his profile in AOL Government’s People to Watch.

Next week, we’re going to talk some under-the-hood stuff about how and why we selected the platform we selected, and hopefully we’ll have some more software to show you.

Thanks for reading and hopefully we’ll hear from you soon. Don’t hesitate to drop us a line over twitter at @ProjectRFPEZ or by email at rfpez@sba.gov.

Until Next Week,

Clay, Jed, Adam, Ahson, Sean and the rest of the RFPEZ team.

Posted in weekly-update | Tagged weekly updates

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