GSA, IAE, and Transparency and Being Open

Last December, the Integrated Award Environment (IAE) team laid out our core Architectural Principles related to our goal of bringing together the government’s systems that facilitate and track federal award activities. First among those principles is the requirement that “IAE Must Be Open.”

On May 13, IAE will be hosting the third in our series of industry focused events – a webinar during which we will explain exactly what we mean by “be open” (please register here). What does it mean for the near future of IAE and the systems we manage, and why is being open, or transparency, a critical component of what we are building?

While a relatively new concept in the business world – and even newer in the federal IT landscape – transparency and openness have established, measurable benefits that will allow for collaboration and coordination not seen before in similar situations. A move to an open environment will create more efficient and effective government; will spur innovation and economic growth; will foster transparency and accountability; and will create an environment of inclusion and empowerment.

Certainly there will be challenges adopting this new way of doing business, but our belief is that in doing so, we will avoid many of the pitfalls of the past and instead will harness the best minds and the best solutions to problems even before they happen. Of course we recognize that in embracing openness, there is a balance that must be struck across a variety of issues such as security, use of COTS tools, and commercial services. IAE and our partners will work tirelessly to strike that appropriate balance without negating the core value of openness and inclusivity.

As we’ll explain in detail on May 13, when we say open, we mean open in every aspect. The new IAE will include open processes, services, and data. Yes – the code will be open. We want anybody to be able to examine and improve our code base.

With a paradigm shift to openness as a backdrop, we have much to discuss with our industry and other vested partners. We are very much looking forward to engaging in those conversations, and we hope you’ll begin that process with us on May 13 at 1:00PM EST.

Navin Vembar

Director, GSA IT Integrated Award Environment Division

Judith Zawatsky

IAE Director of Outreach & Stakeholder Management

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