September 14, 2011 By Sarah Rich
A Federal Highway Administration employee has won a $50,000 prize for his “best idea to fix government.”
Aung Gye proposed a nationwide, centralized database for inventorying unused assets in government agencies so that they would be shared. A panel of judges deemed it the best overall idea of the 2011 Merit Awards from government IT network MeriTalk.
The competition’s five finalists and winners were announced Tuesday, Sept. 13, in Washington, D.C.
In June, MeriTalk received more than 1,000 submissions from around the world. The five finalists won in separate categories: back office operations, citizen engagement, emergency response, results achievement and waste.
Gye’s entry, which won the back office operations and best overall category, asserted that government departments and agencies have underutilized cars, buses, office equipment, meeting rooms and other assets that could be assigned for use by different agencies upon request.
“The idea is to share the use of these unused assets by developing a centralized nationwide database to see what assets are available during which time frames by department/agency and by location, to match the need of the requestor,” according to Gye’s entry.
The entry mentioned that the U.S. General Services Administration could participate in the process by helping other departments and agencies. Gye said his proposed database of government assets could reduce unnecessary spending and minimize the acquisition of new equipment.
The contest winners were determined by a panel of 10 judges from private- and public-sector IT. The judges included former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra; Tom Soderstrom, chief technology officer of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Vint Cerf, Google’s vice president and chief Internet evangelist.
The winners in the other four categories were:
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