The General Services Administration will release by early next week a redacted version of the potential $18 million contract to upgrade Recovery.gov, GSA officials said on Monday. Government transparency advocates had been calling on GSA and the board overseeing stimulus spending to publish the agreement that will cost taxpayers $9.5 million through January 2010 and up to $18 million if all options are exercised.
Officials on Wednesday announced that GSA, on behalf of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, had negotiated the contract with Hollywood, Md.-based Web services developer Smartronix, but provided few other details about the deal.
The board late Friday posted an update that included a link to a June 15 request for proposals, which states the vendor must "move with speed" to provide a system that is expandable, secure and able to extract information from a separate data collection portal, feed that information to various third-parties and assess data quality. The new version of Recovery.gov is slated to launch Aug. 27. The solicitation also requires a back-up system and maintenance services.
SRA International and Accenture, both technology services providers, also bid on the contract, GSA spokesman Robert Lesino said on Monday.
Separately, open government groups called on the board to immediately provide the Smartronix contract, plus the contract or task order to create the data collection portal, called FederalReporting.gov. CGI Federal is performing that work.
The Coalition for an Accountable Recovery, which represents more than 30 public interest groups, on Monday sent board Chairman Earl Devaney a letter calling for the documents, as well as the cost of the CGI Federal agreement. The coalition also requested copies of all federal contracts authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
"Although the board has issued a press release containing a link to the solicitation for the Recovery.gov website redesign, the information contained within both falls far short of providing sufficient details of the contract," the letter states. "Posting the Smartronix and [CGI Federal] contracts would be an important first step towards the transparency President Obama promised and that Americans deserve."