The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board has finally made the first big move toward building Recovery.gov. According to Federal Times:
GSA announced last night that it has awarded a contract for the Recovery.gov redesign; the $18 million contract went to Smartronix, a Maryland-based IT firm. It beat out 58 other bidders. The first part of the contract is worth about $9.5 million through January; other options, which extend through January 2014, are worth another $8.5 million or so.
Does anyone have a link to the actual contract? I’d like to know what we’re getting for $9.5 million. The core functionality of USASpending.gov, which is supposed to track all federal spending, was acquired for less than $1 million. In a recent Mercatus briefing paper I took a look at the spending transparency sites of 10 states and the most expensive one cost $300,000. So what is this $9.5 million website going to have on it? Is Smartronix also building out the central reporting database at FederalReporting.gov?
Quick drum bang: Make the raw spending data available and you will see corporations, non-profits, newspapers, and opengov nerds put up dozens of Recovery.govs with more features than the RAT Board can conceive or afford.
UPDATE: Crack reporter Aliya Sternstein at Nextgov has been doing a fantastic job covering the Recovery.gov story and she reports today that the RAT Board promises to make all the raw data available. Also in her piece, FederalReporting.gov has its own contractor, CGI Federal. So, that can’t account for the $9.5 million price tag. Still looking for the contract.
UPDATE 2: Folks have been saying that Smartronix beat out 58 other bidders for the contract. That is not correct. If you read the GSA release carefully, they say “59 companies were eligible to compete for the award.” There were reports last week that there were only two bidders. Today Jason Miller said on the radio that he could only confirm 3 bidders, including Smartronix.