Mobile app puts 'hoards' of solicitation information in your hand

Tuesday - 12/3/2013, 11:26am EST

Commentary By Tom Temin
Federal News Radio

Sometimes good things do come in small packages. I've been intrigued by an iPhone app called Hōrd, pronounced hoard. The publisher, startup GovTribe, spells it with the "o" adorned by an overline. Hōrd is an example of using government data to build apps, but not quite in the way the Obama administration has been pushing. The app is free; the service will cost $5 per month after a user tries it for 30 days. So Hōrd is not in the price league of Bloomberg, Deltek or Govini.

It's also not a comprehensive environment with consulting and a large and growing database to consult. What it is, is a way of getting instant delivery of changes in solicitations from specific agencies or specific product categories. In later versions, company co-founder Nate Nash told me, users will be able to look for specific product solicitations from specific agencies, for example, "mobile technology" from "Agriculture Department."

Hōrd pulls data from the Government Accountability Office, General Services Administration, System for Award Management (SAM) and USASpending.gov. You pick the agencies and categories you want to "hoard" and then receive automatic push notifications when anything changes. One new item tells me the Coast Guard Surface Forces Logistics Center is requesting quotes for a bunch of diesel engine parts, that it has added a small business requirement, and that it was posted by Erika R. Wallace. It even gives me Wallace's e-mail address and phone number. Other feeds track awards and protests, and you can even see which hoards are popular.

As an app, Hōrd is fast and stylish, a total mobile conception. Nash said GovTribe will issue a Web version for the office later on.


Tom Temin is host of The Federal Drive, which airs 6-10 a.m. on Federal News Radio (1500AM). This post was originally written for his personal blog, Temin on Tech.