Chopra Defends Tech Policy Impact on Federal Workers

Alice Lipowicz | Federal Computer Week | February 8, 2012

Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra got a mostly warm send-off at a think- tank event during his last day on the job, but the conversation turned a bit heated when he was called upon to defend how his innovation policies have impacted federal employees.

Chopra, along with three other high-profile technology policy executives in the administration, spoke at a Feb. 8 panel discussion on innovation in government. The panel, at the Center for American Progress, also included Todd Park, CTO at the Health and Human Services Department; Peter Levin, CTO at Veterans Affairs; and Chris Vein, federal deputy CTO.

Chopra spoke enthusiastically of the administration's efforts to release large quantities of federal data to private-sector developers for the purpose of developing distribution systems and applications, ultimately generating startups and new jobs, and of holding contests and challenges to get innovative new thinkers involved in solving federal agency needs.

For example, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency was able to develop a prototype combat support vehicle within a remarkably short time by sponsoring a design contest open to the public. Thousands of designers and engineers responded...