Governmentwide guidance for implementing open innovation strategies is particularly inefficient when addressing agency challenges in open data collaboration and fostering ideation and open dialogues, according to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office.

Looking at resources developed by the General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget and Office of Science and Technology Policy — as well as agency-specific tools and approaches tailored by the Departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — the GAO determined whether current key guidance reflect the best practices.

The review, a part of the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010, took place from February 2016 to June 2017 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

Based on a survey of policies, staff and websites, GAO found agencies have looked to engage the public through crowdsourcing and citizen science, idea generation, open data collaboration, open dialogues and prize competitions, but have only reflected the best initiatives in crowdsourcing, citizen science and prize competitions.

Guidance for identifying and engaging stakeholders and partners was deemed "fully reflects practice" throughout all initiatives, but sustaining communities of participants and partners is particularly lacking, rating "partially reflects practice" at best.

GAO recommended GSA, OMB and OSTP enhance guidance to fully reflect leading implementation practices, and GSA and OMB generally agreed (OSTP neither agreeing or disagreeing).

The entire report, with case studies, can be viewed on GAO.gov

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