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Rewiring Government

The Department of Better Technology helps governments deliver great digital services to the people who depend on them.

OpenRFPs: Day 1

This past weekend, DOBT participated in Code Across 2014, a nationwide hackathon where community members and local governments come together to develop tools and applications that improve their communities. We’ve attended events like this before, but this weekend was special because we had just launched OpenRFPs, our community-based initiative to democratize RFP data across the country.

We couldn’t be more pleased with the reception the project received. In Seattle, Sid and Xin investigated the Washington State RFP listings site. In Atlanta, Clay and Bob started to parse Atlanta’s RFPs from one of the craziest HTML layouts we’ve seen. And in New York City, Adam and Federica created an initial splash-page for the project.

And look at all those parsers. Hawaii, Nebraska, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, and Texas are all started up, and Georgia & New York City have active, working RFP parsers. Now that the weekend is over, our goal is to maintain a steady hum of contributions when everyone goes back to their day jobs. It’s no small task, but with the help of the community, we can democratize this data for all.

Adam Becker is a co-founder of The Department of Better Technology.

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