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Interesting news from the VA!

VA Finds It on Craigslist

The Department of Veterans Affairs has done what many people do when looking for just the right product or service—it went to Craigslist. Or rather, to the man who created it. VA announced this week that Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has agreed to serve on a blue-ribbon panel charged with reviewing ways to reduce VA disability claims processing times and cut backlogs.

“I am very encouraged by the fact that VA is embracing new ways to look at old problems,” said Newmark, a supporter of veteran’s causes—and a vocal proponent of using technology to support government innovation.

The panel, chaired by Patrick W. Dunne, VA under secretary for benefits, will evaluate ideas submitted by VA employees and members of veterans service organizations. VA officials from each of the 57 regional offices across the country have submitted ideas, VA said, and the agency has received and reviewed over 3,000 suggestions since Sept. 8.

The panel will review the top 17 submissions and chose five projects that will receive full funding at the regional VA office that submitted the idea. To see more, go to: http://www1.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=1808.

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Andrew Krzmarzick

Thanks for the great post, Cindy Lou! I just spoke with GovLooper Amy Loveridge last week about how Craig became affiliated with VA. It seems that she/they were using Craigslist to post position vacancies, including a Deputy Administrator role. Craig got word of it and the story picked up national press. They got tons of qualified applicants, which shows the value government being more innovative in the hiring process.

Amy Loveridge

Thanks for posting this Cindy Lou. I have circulated the link to other recruiters in the VA to show them how their hard work using innovative practices (like CraigsList) can pay off for the veterans.

Craig Newmark

folks, thanks! A lot has to do with my work with the Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, iava.org.
I’m also chatting with folks at other vets’ orgs.

Beyond that, this is one of a number of agency internal innovation sites. I feel that they’re a good way for rank and file people to work together, crossing boundaries, and getting the word to leadership.

Does that make any sense? Thanks!

Cindy Lou Baker

I hope the Department of Agriculture will soon be one of those boundary crossers! My bosses still don’t know what to think of GovLoop! cb

Cindy Lou Baker

Wow Lauren! I’m impressed with AFCEA Bethesda’s events. How excellent to have a dinner for Senior Execs where IT/Comm info can be presented in non-threatening ways. Things are looking WAY up! Thanks for sharing the site. Sorry I missed the webinar. Craig, thanks for responding. Were these internal innovation sites in the VA created before you took notice? I hope the Forest Service will soon embrace these ideas and that I’ll be around to see the incredible progress you and others like you will bring about! I also think it’s awesome that you work with IAVA.org. Thank you and bless you too this Veteran’s Day week! cb