Tuesday, September 7, 2010

White House Launches GSA-Created Citizen Engagement Platform Challenge.gov

/PRNewswire/ -- The White House today launched the new Challenge.gov, an online tool for federal agencies provided by the U.S. General Services Administration that allows agencies to post contests aimed at increasing public participation with the government. As part of President Obama's call for an open, transparent government, agencies were called upon to leverage challenges and prizes to spur citizen engagement. This new site allows all agencies to post challenges in one place at no cost.

"GSA continues to help the Administration move toward a more open, citizen-centered government by providing tools that simplify the engagement process for both agencies and citizens," said Dave McClure, GSA's Associate Administrator for Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. "By providing agencies with a no cost, easy, ready-to-use solution through Challenge.gov, GSA has built upon the successes agencies have already had in using challenges and provided a platform that offers even more uniformity and consistency in how the public engages with their government."

Working with New York-based small business ChallengePost, GSA created the technology and design for this one of a kind engagement platform and paved the way for agencies to leverage the tool free of charge and by working with the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, GSA cleared all necessary legal and policy requirements for agency use.

Nearly 40 challenges from 16 agencies will debut on Challenge.gov, seven launching for the first time. The site features two GSA challenges:

-- The USA.gov GovGab blog asks citizen writers to submit guest blog
posts highlighting ways to use government information. Five winners
will be chosen and featured one per day during the week of GovGab's
third birthday.
-- Kids.gov, the official kid's portal for the U.S. Government seeks
creative "infographics" from children that answer the common question,
"How to Become President?" The goal of the contest is to educate kids
on the process of electing president and inspire children to new
heights. The prize is $5000 (split between one adult and one child).
Judges of the contest include Sara Slobin, New York Times Infographic
Designer, and Nicholas Felton, who served on the Design for America

As the federal government's workplace solutions provider, GSA finds unique, cost-saving ways to help federal agencies engage with the public. In February, GSA provided agencies with an innovative public dialog tool at no cost to help them meet their open government needs. Through this tool, the public was given an easily accessible forum to share ideas, give feedback, and engage in Web-based discussions with their government. Twenty-three of 24 cabinet agencies are using GSA's public dialog tool, helping them devote their attention to running, moderating, and analyzing public input.

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