Department of the Treasury

"F.E.W.E.R." - Share Information - Less Silos

Too many large agencies work with a silo mentality, where employees of one division don't know what employees in another division are doing. We should develop a means to foster better communication and cooperation across divisions and, after that, across agencies as well. I've seen this done and it works. It would work like this - an employee would post to a central web site a description of a project on which he or she is working. If two people, let's say, find that they are working on a similar project, they could coordinate their efforts. In addition, federal employees could post a need for technical assistance if it were needed. Let's say I needed help writing a program to run finance data but I lacked prgramming skills. Let's also say there is a programmer who can code really well but wants to learn a little about banking regulation, we could work together and be linked via this information sharing resource. Or let's say someone at USDA needs help with financial analysis, which I can do, but I want to understand how agricultural oversight works, we could link up and cooperate. This would foster cooperation across divisions within agencies, and cooperation and info sharing across agencies as well. All it would take is a central repository for information on on going projects. We could call the information sharing site "F.E.W.E.R." - "Federal Emploee Worker Enhancement Resource." "Fewer" because it would help to reduce reduntancies (multiple people people working on the same project without knowing it), which would reduce overall costs. In addition, it could lead to FEWER outside vendor contracts, which also are very expensive, because we may be able to find technical expertise for a project right here within the federal government already! I've seen this done at private companies and it really fosters a more efficient environment to move projects forward.

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Idea No. 10940