Reply All: #34 DMV Nation
August 6, 2015 5:52 AM - Subscribe

Even though technology evolves at a rapid clip, US government agencies seem trapped about a decade in the past. PJ talks to technologist Clay Johnson about why the government is so unable to adapt, and what it would look like if it could keep pace with the rest of the world.
posted by Cash4Lead (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Made me think of this.
posted by primethyme at 2:04 PM on August 6, 2015

This episode did a great job explaining why government websites are so archaic. I knew it had something to do with how slow the bureaucracy is, but I never knew exactly why. No wonder most vendors just give up!

primethyme, that reminds me of how freakin dumb it is that so many financial transactions can't be done on weekends. I think Planet Money covered this in one of their Seed to Shirt episodes, and they couldn't find a good reason for it. It's infuriating, really. You don't need actual bankers to do most transactions, why do I have to wait until Monday!?!
posted by radioamy at 2:26 PM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

As someone who has had to work on government contracts before, it was kind of nice to hear other people stating out ridiculous is it. We have a separate consultant just to help us navigate our three government contracts - the information we get is contradictory and filled with catch-42s. We do this because the government ends up being a very large customer for us - but there are a lot more areas where government contracts simply aren't lucrative, and I have no idea why they would go through all of the hassle.

One of the contract stipulations I've had to deal with outside of the government - someone required assurance that nobody in our company was affiliated with organized crime. Others are simply impossible - religious healthcare services requiring us not to do business with entities that have anything do do with birth control when we're selling to public hospitals and, well, the government. So the non-terrorist, non-slave owning requirements don't seem that weird for me.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:49 AM on August 7, 2015

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