More from the City of Austin Website Debacle

Posted by TradeMark Media on January 5, 2011 | Comments (0)

Over a year ago I wrote a blog post with my thoughts on the City of Austin website debacle. Since that time, the city has chosen a design firm to work with, this time an Austin-based firm. The City also recently released the second half of the original RFP for the development phase of the project.

After much consideration, TradeMark Media decided not to bid on the project. We decided not to bid because of what we learned from the first half of the RFP process. You can read all about our lessons learned in Jean Conover’s post RFP Blues, Take Two.  Of note: we were eliminated in the first round because we missed one signature line on one document. Ugh!

Recently (and I do give the City praise for this), a member on the RFP committee sent out a mass email asking involved agencies for reasons why they didn’t respond to the second half of the RFP. And the responses came flooding in. Most people believe that the government RFP process is inherently broken. It wastes taxpayer dollars, man-hours from the agencies responding, and ultimately doesn’t result in the best vendor getting the job. I couldn’t agree with my colleagues more.

We (the taxpayers and vendors) would love to see a streamlined RFP process. Once that is intuitive to respond to, one that eliminates unnecessary paperwork, one that doesn’t ask us to complete meaningless tasks for the sake of red tape and one that ensures that the best and most qualified agencies float to the top.

It will be interesting to see the results of the new City of Austin website redesign (when and if it finally does launch) considering a broken process was followed to get there.

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