18F Wants to Change the Rules, Not Break Them, Leader Says

Frank Konkel | Nextgov | February 22, 2017

The tech group 18F took some heat Tuesday when a General Administration Services inspector general audit found it skirting compliance rules and security procedures, but the department’s leader says the Obama-era tech unit is still committed to hacking bureaucracy.

“Our job is transforming technology in government, and our job is to push against policies and regulations that are in the way of government being effective and delivering good services,” Technology Transformation Service Commissioner Rob Cook told Nextgov Wednesday. “We’ve realized we need to do that, and we’re emphasizing changing what the compliance is rather than going around it.”

Cook said 18F was alerted to the aforementioned IG report in the summer and has spent the past six months “addressing most everything” in it. Those issues included failing to get chief information officer approval on $24.8 million worth of contracts and foregoing approval on 100 of 116 software tools the tech unit used...