Help the GSA Track Travel Costs and Win Prizes

March 3, 2014
By Maryann Lawlor
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Agency seeks innovative tool to help control costs, offer travel options.

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) is asking for the public’s help to create an online, interactive tool that uses federal travel data to increase government agencies’ budget transparency and accountability. GSA Travel Data Challenge participants will be given sample GSA travel data sets to develop a tool that can be updated with data from additional agencies. However, challenge solvers are not limited only to the information provided; in fact, they are encouraged to be creative and use other public data sets that would improve a user’s understanding of travel options.

Details of the challenge note that the GSA is not looking for an analysis tool but rather a forward-thinking capability that enhances transparency and helps hold agencies accountable for what they are spending on travel. In addition, the tool should provide agencies with recommendations for reducing costs.

The GSA may award up to three prizes; however, if the judges determine that only one or two of the entries meet the scope and requirements of the challenge or if the GSA decides to only use code from one or two of the entries, fewer prizes will be awarded. Grand prize is $35,000; runner up is $30,000; and honorable mention prize is $25,000.

Additional information is available online.

Anne Rung, associate administrator, Office of Governmentwide Policy (OGP), GSA, and Katherine Pearlman, OGP staff member, explain the Travel Data Challenge in the video below.

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