Wondering about the process of developing federal standards for the construction of semantic space the same way physical space is managed in cities with permit offices etc.:
Is U.S. Government Outsourcing Its Brain’?
According to the Wall Street Journal article Boom in Tech Contracts Sparks Complex Debate; A Mecca in Virginia By BERNARD WYSOCKI JR., Wall Street Journal, A1 the government could wind up “outsourcing its brain.” Especially for projects what’s known as “systems integration” — pulling together complex information networks.
But what about new initiatives like GovBrain? Can the government be its own systems integrator with many people chipping away at the effort? Who would understand the project best? How would design submittals be recorded, would any become public record? What impact would public record like this have on the development of public versus private projects in semantic space?
A lot of skyscrapers are getting ready to be built in Tysons Corner Virginia. If entered into the Skyscraper City Guess the City game – what would be the notable features of this place?
Most of the owners and tenants of the new buildings are likely to be contractors located geographically and conceptually halfway between Arlington VA where the atmosphere is Pentagon-centric, and communications companies/office parks near Dulles. The new Tysons corner may become a hybrid area for a hybrid new industry working on systems integration and other complex design tasks for the government.
Are these public projects? Who is running the contracts halfway between the business of communications and the department of defense? Are the requirements documents written properly for these new types of projects? Will the projects benefit the public the same way a properly designed and constructed Tysons Corner may benefit Virginia?
Do the information owners, like building owners, have control and provide the primary oversight and direction in how their semantic spaces are being built? In the article, Mr. Skinner, the Homeland Security inspector general, says his office found that the top decision makers were contractors, not civil servants. The Coast Guard was relegated to the role of “adviser” on technical matters, and was essentially shut out of decisions on subcontracts.
The Tysons area and surrounding Fairfax County have enjoyed the boom in federal procurement in the post-9/11 era, with $18 billion of work performed in the area in 2006, up from about $10 billion in 2000.
One problem is that the department, with 900 procurement officers, constantly battles turnover. He says the department is lucky if it can keep procurement personnel for three years before they bolt– to places such as Tysons Corner.
….contractors hire other contractors without enough controls or competition. In March, Rep. Waxman introduced a bill that would put limits on contracts awarded without competitive bidding. It passed the House by a wide margin.
Fueling the growth at big firms creating new skyscraper place in Virginia is a move toward giant, complex projects, awarded by Uncle Sam but pulled together by what’s called a “lead systems integrator.”
Can GovBrain or an organization like it be the lead systems integrator for total information awareness including nondefense matters? How will knowledge management and procurement issues for constructing federal semantic space be designed, implemented, and contracted fairly? What about small businesses? Will the construction of federal semantic space be public projects with a bidding process and customized general conditions?
What is needed is one, simple, very easy to use system to let contracting officers click in and register where their project belongs and define the extent of the scope of work.