Quick Video Survey of Vivek Kundra's Policy and Experience as DC CTO

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The following article is a quick survey of some of the YouTube videos representing Vivek Kundra's policies and experience. Vivek Kundra is Obama's selection for the Federal Chief Information Officer. The videos are in no particular order, and they have been assembled to give you a sense of Kundra's work in the DC government. Kundra has brought radical transparency to the procurement process and has made some strategic choices which communicate a comfort and fluency with collaborative, Web 2.0 technologies.

For more videos about DC government's use of technology, see the dcgovernement Channel on YouTube. Hint: The most revolutionary video is the open pre-solitication meeting. This seven-part video is as boring as it gets, but bringing this level of transparency to the federal government's procurement process would likely shave tens of billions of dollars of wasteful, unnecessary projects from the budget.

January 16, 2009 - ChangeDotGov - From the Obama Transition Site

Quote: "One of the biggest problems in the federal government is that process has trumped outcome, and the biggest reason for that is that everybody is focused on compliance nobody is thinking about innovation and how to drive change within the government."

Quote: "If you look at what happened with the Human Genome Project with the National Institute of Health and other world bodies, they decided to take the the Human Genome Project and move it to the public domain as quickly as possible and as a result you have a massive explosion in scientific discovery"

Quote: "When you look at how we lower the cost of government operations, the federal government budget of 70 billion dollars representing approximately 20% of the tech economy why is it that we can't innovate and find better ways of bringing services lowering the cost of government operations and driving transparency and those are the things you are going to see in this administration."

September 26, 2008 - Video from GoogleApps

Kundra discusses his choice to use Google Apps as a collaboration tool in the DC government. Fire Marshall discusses how he uses Google Earth when in route to a fire or a disaster. Google Earth is in the "mobile command vehicle".

Quote from video: "The cloud computing model allows you to provide service rather than technology. II allows us to create government that is more transparent so that government is not practiced behind closed doors, it is practiced in the public square."

April 2008 - A video from WCAmedia on YouTube

From last Spring, Vivek Kundra talks about how his entrance into public service coincided with the Sept. 11th attacks. He also discusses the importance of interoperability.

September 26, 2007 - Video from dcgovernment announcing a partnership with Google

January 2, 2008 - Video from dcgovernment announcing Evidence Warehouse and open wiki

In this video Kundra discusses the MPD Evidence Warehouse. Talks about "procurement", mentions web 2.0, talks about use wikis within DC government, and an open wiki in the area of "evidence management".

May 22, 2008 - From dcgovernment a transparent Pre-solicitation Conference

This video is especially interesting (although not particularly popular). Enterprise procurement meeting, this is a pre-solicitation conference that Kundra decided to record and publish on YouTube. In other words, this is a meeting about an RFP with a series of companies which are meeting to ask questions. So, right, think about this for a second, because this is exactly the sort of revolutionary transparency which would give us a more efficient and more accountable federal government. Can you imagine how much money this would have saved the Federal Government if some had decided to broadcast the RFP for the famously horrible FBI Virtual Case File disaster.

Click on Part 2, granted, this is like watching paint dry for most people, but if the government recorded pre-solicitation meetings with vendors, the technology community could listen into these conversations and hold the government accountable. Again, this seven-part video is about as boring as it gets - part seven has a amassed 24 views in the last 11 months, but this is the sort of thing that would shine some badly needed sunlight into the procurement process.

January 19, 2009 - A video from CBS about inauguration preparations

Talks about DC's preparations for the Inauguration - focuses on some of the preparations made for capacity planning for the record number of attendees at this year's Inauguration. He also discusses some "retail" government products, focuses on the site inauguration.dc.gov, which the DC government created to support the Inauguration.

PHOTO CREDIT: OCTO Offict of the Chief Technology Officer, DC Government


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3 Comments

This is such an important point:

" So, right, think about this for a second, because this is exactly the sort of revolutionary transparency which would give us a more efficient and more accountable federal government. Can you imagine how much money this would have saved the Federal Government if some had decided to broadcast the RFP for the famously horrible FBI Virtual Case File disaster."

So fresh, and, hopefully, indicative of what's to come.

hope all the appointments made by President Obama will work.. and we give him the benefit of the doubt.. Good Luck Mr. Kundra.. He has a good background.. Maybe he has a lot to contribute for the benefit of American people..

I had to explain to Mr. Kundra in a meeting, and yes, I work for DC Gov, that often times using consulting companies, (which he was apparently against), is often a necessity. For example, take Unemployment Insurance Fulfillment. It is a state-to-state niche. The business rules take years to learn, even on the IT side, and any state agency can not get people off the street to do this kind of work. That is why it is often necessary to hire consulting companies who can pull experts from other states and relocate them to another state agency to get the job done. And what about fire walls? I have 30 years in the IT industry, and believe me, at least in large Fortune 500 companies and state and federal agencies, one needs to keep the mainframe because it is, for the most part "hack proof". Good luck Mr. Kundra.

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