Dozens of tech companies urge Biden administration to open government up to private sector innovation

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should ensure that government agencies enforce well-established business preference regulations when it comes to purchasing software, 44 big tech companies and three alliances have written in one letter to the president Joe biden today.

The signatories point out that federal law already requires federal agencies to prioritize the purchase of commercial software, but these rules are not always followed to the detriment of taxpayers and government efficiency. Companies including Salesforce, Palantir, Splunk, DataRobot and associations, including Alliance for Digital Innovation, the Alliance for Commercial Technology in Government and the Silicon Valley Defense Group are among the organizations calling for change.

Too often, departments and agencies do not apply existing trade preference regulations to software and technology purchases. Instead, the government chooses to build systems in-house or outsource complicated, bespoke systems. This is against private sector best practice, and for good reason: Software development efforts fail more than 90% of the time by some estimates. When these efforts fail, the taxpayer pays the price. In contrast, advanced software and technology companies offer high-quality out-of-the-box products that have already proven themselves in the commercial sector, capitalize on private sector innovation, and in many cases, can be deployed quickly.

“It’s no secret that enterprise software is incredibly difficult to build and usually fails before it succeeds – especially when the government tries to create software itself,” said Matthew Cornelius, the executive director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation. “When federal agencies get off-the-shelf software, they’re buying something that is already working, allowing agencies to take advantage of innovative solutions faster. The Biden Administration must double down on business solutions as a key to its program. ‘not build. “

“For years we have heard a lot of rhetoric about the urgency of preparing for high power competition. If this is really urgent, and I think it clearly is, the government has to act like this.” , said Mac Thornberry, former Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and member of the Silicon Valley Defense Group Advisory Board. “It means now acquiring systems that are tested and proven and can be easily adopted, rather than waiting – sometimes for years – to build systems from scratch that may never work and will likely be obsolete. they’re doing it.”

Tech companies are asking OMB to correct this practice by sending clear guidelines to agencies and departments stating that the longstanding requirements for procuring commercially available solutions also apply to software acquisition and of technologies.

“The most innovative technology in the world is being developed by the US private sector, but too often federal agencies miss it,” said Dave vorland, Executive Director of the Alliance for Commercial Technology in Government. “You find out during a crisis what technology works and what doesn’t and it’s always commercial software that responds best when government efficiency is most critical – as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In their letter to President Biden, these companies “specifically request the Office of Management and Budget to provide clear direction to federal agencies to ensure that existing statutory trade preference requirements are met. We also encourage the Authority to require that any software or technology acquisition include the opportunity for the private sector to participate in live technology demonstrations alongside any custom options. Ultimately, the best solution should always win. “

About the Alliance for Digital Innovation
The Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI) is an association of business enterprises that help shape innovation in government. ADI’s mission is to enable American innovation. The coalition was formed to serve as a unified voice for business innovators interested in bringing existing and emerging business technology into the public sector. ADI focuses on IT modernization with an emphasis on innovative business technologies.

About the Silicon Valley Defense Group
The Silicon Valley Advocacy Group seeks to ensure that the United States and its allies gain a lasting advantage in the global tech security competition. To achieve this goal, we are creating the nexus of pioneering ideas, people and capital that will open new sources of innovation for national security and fuel the digital evolution of the defense industrial base.

About the Alliance for Commercial Technology in Government
The Alliance for Commercial Technology in Government is a new trade association representing innovative business tech startups across the country, advocating for policy changes to improve the way government does business and takes advantage of modern technology.

The Alliance will serve as a voice for policymakers, advocating for financing, procurement processes and other policies and regulations for the federal government to operate as efficiently and effectively as the modern commercial marketplace, by securing technologies from peaks at the speed of relevance. Success will strengthen our business technology sector and our government’s ability to solve big problems and regain our lead on the world stage.

Media contact: Robin Applebaum ([email protected])

SOURCE Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI)


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