Read this, then let’s talk about why it’s funny:
“The Board shall establish and maintain…a user-friendly, public-facing website to foster greater accountability and transparency in the use of covered funds. The website…shall be a portal or gateway to key information relating to the Act and provide connections to other government websites with related information.” — American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Here’s the punchline: The Obama Administration’s Recovery.gov website will cost you and me $18 million to redesign – not design, but re-design. In fairness, the redesign itself costs only $9.5 million, with $8.5 million set aside for site upkeep over the next five years (a little over $14,000 per month).
No one can figure out how the company that received the contract received the contract – according to TechPresident, no government entity knows.
The most expensive website design project I’ve ever led cost $60,000 – and that was because the vendor I worked with gave me a few breaks. But the point is that I know people who could easily design and build a nice looking website that would do all that Recovery.gov needs to do for less than a $1 million, and maybe for less than half that. It’s the technological equivalent of the famed $500 hammers used by the Pentagon: it simply doesn’t make sense. Given the expense, transparency in the bidding process is that much more important.