Agency resource-sharing database plan relies on simple premise

Tuesday - 9/20/2011, 9:19am EDT

Aung Gye, Federal Highway Administration

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By Jack Moore
Federal News Radio

Sometimes the best ideas rely on relatively simple premises.

Case in point: Aung Gye, of the Federal Highway Administration, proposed setting up a governmentwide database of agency resources — such as vehicles, office space and, even, procurements — to better share them among agencies.

His idea, which was submitted to the Merit Awards, sponsored by IT networking group MeriTalk, earned him $50,000 as the best idea for using IT to "fix government."

The judges said Gye's idea could reduce acquisitions and save agencies unnecessary spending.

The General Services Administration already keeps track of vehicles, for example, however agencies are unable to see if they are currently being used.

Gye's idea is a "live database," updated in real-time and shareable among many agencies, he said.

"The big overall picture is sharing across all agencies, serving many people many times over and over again," he added.

In that relatively simple idea, Gye was inspired by his children, he told the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris.

"You know how we ask our children to share their pencils, toys and so on? So why can't we do that in the government?" he said. "And in today's environment, with the budget crunch and everything, I think we need to definitely explore not the traditional ways but new ways to maximize the return on investment."

There are no hard numbers on how much his idea could ultimately save, but Gye estimated it would be in the millions. He said he hopes GSA will spearhead further developing and implementing his plan.

As for the prize money?

Gye said he's putting it toward his childrens' education.