The intelligence community is running an acquisition pilot under which qualified apps or widget developers can submit their code to a marketplace and be paid a nominal fee--but if the application's uptake is significant, be paid what it would have cost the federal government to otherwise purchase it, said Dawn Meyerriecks, assistant director of national intelligence for acquisition, technology and facilities.
She spoke Oct. 15 at the Mil-OSS WG4 conference in Arlington, Va.
"If we would be spending a million bucks to buy the application and you satisfy that and you got 100 percent uptake, we'll give you the million bucks," she said.
One area that Meyerriecks might welcome development in is collaboration tools. "I sample lots of collaboration software--I think it universally sucks. Sorry, 'suck' is a technical term," she said.
Meyerriecks also said that the government is getting better in recruiting software development talent.
The bad news is "you now have people who are O5s and O6s that we've trained [to believe] that an engineer is an engineer, and that one from Boeing is probably better than the ones sitting at the desks with GS-13 on their sleeves."
It's rare for an intelligence community to speak at a public-setting conference, Meyerriecks noted, just as it is for one to have a LinkedIn profile.
"The official policy of the IC is that you do not have social media accounts," she said. But, when Meyerriecks returned to government after 6 years in the private sector, she pointed out that it would be more conspicuous to take down all those accounts than to leave them up, she said. Meyerriecks' LinkedIn profile lists her employer as the "US Government." (A Washington, D.C. truism is that the only federal employees who ever say they work for "the government" work for the intelligence community.)
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