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Transparency and Openness in the New IAE Environment

On May 13, GSA’s Integrated Award Environment (IAE) hosted the third in our series of industry outreach events meant to share the current goings-on within IAE and our plans for the future.  Focused on a shift to openness and transparency within IAE and the systems we manage, the event was well received by the several hundred industry representatives who were in attendance during the webcast presentation.

GSA’s Interim CIO Sonny Hashmi served as the keynote speaker for the event and he highlighted the value of adopting openness and transparency in IAE as well as how that focus fits in well with the rest of the agency.  Hashmi pointed out recent Administration-level endeavors to foster a more open environment within the government such as the Executive Order on Open Government Information and Open Data Policy issued in May 2013 as well as the memorandum issued by GSA Administrator Tangherlini in February 2014 on Increasing Data Sharing, Transparency, and Reuse at GSA.   

IAE’s Assistant Commissioner Kevin Youel Page, who is leading the design and build of the future IAE, outlined how IAE’s own mission statement requires openness and transparency at every level.  Page said, “We’re talking about a culture change; a shift in the way we operate. Being transparent and open is at the very foundation of what we’re collaboratively building: easy-to-use shared systems that reduce burden, enhance speed and access to innovation, and provide more transparency to continuously improve federal award management.”

Navin Vembar, Branch Chief, IAE Branch, GSA IT then walked the audience through what IAE means when we say “open and transparent.”  Vembar highlighted that being transparent can have a number of benefits, including reducing schedule, cost, and quality risks; allowing 3rd party UIs and software development; and creating increased accountability to IAE’s government, industry, and public stakeholders.  Vembar cautioned that IAE always will have the risks of openness – such as security risks and taking care not to publish personal information – at the top-of-mind in the new IAE, and that IAE will be working constantly to establish trust between our stakeholders and to document stability in our systems.

Vembar also introduced IAE’s new Transparency Champion, Ilias Panagopoulos who is just now getting up-to-speed on everything IAE.  Look in this space in the coming weeks for more about and from Panagopoulos.

In closing, Vembar said, “We regard openness as a necessary component of the overall strategy for IAE success and an essential element for any future technical solutions acquired by the program.  Being open is a process as much as a state; the process will become much more visible over the next few months.”

You can find materials from the May 13 event, including a recording of the entire presentation, here on Interact.  As always, IAE is looking for comment and feedback on our shift to more openness and transparency, as well as any other aspects of IAE or the systems we manage.  Please feel free to leave a comment here or to reach us anytime at IAEOutreach@gsa.gov.


Judith Zawatsky

IAE Director of Outreach & Stakeholder Management


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The Integrated Award Environment (IAE) is a government-wide initiative administered by GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service (FAS). We manage the suite... More

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