Steve Radick is a communications consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton, a global technology and strategy consulting firm. He has worked with clients from across the U.S. government to develop and implement strategic communications plans and campaigns.
There has been plenty of discussion about how governments are using social media to engage with the general public and open up their vast amounts of data to collaborators. The interagency collaboration occurring behind government firewalls using wikis and blogs is also well-publicized. A topic that’s received less attention are the ways that social media and the principles of openness, collaboration, and authenticity are transforming how the government does business. How is social media changing the government contracting process? That’s the $500 billion+ question.
The world of contracting is one of the most important, complex, and least transparent within our Federal Government. From 100-page Request for Proposals (RFPs) to GSA schedules to organizational conflicts of interest to non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), the environment has long discouraged real discourse in favor of strict rules, processes, and policies. Too many companies of all sizes are frustrated and overwhelmed by the intricacies and red tape connected to doing business with the government.
But social media has brought about some positive changes. Here are three important ways it’s done so.