The General Services Administration plays a central role in helping the rest of the federal government hire contractors to perform professional services. This process requires contracting officers to research past federal contracts to determine a fair hourly rate, which often involves manually searching through stacks of paper contracts to find old labor rates.
- 18F gathered thousands of documents used in contracting research and extracted their data.
- We conducted user interviews and followed other best practices of human-centered design to build the Contract-Awarded Labor Category tool (CALC), a website that allows anyone to search past government contracts for fair hourly rates for various types of labor.
- GSA contracting officers say the tool is much more efficient and accurate than the previous method, and has allowed them to save on labor rates by an average of .1 percent. At the scale of federal contracting, that little number means possible savings in the hundreds of millions of dollars for the government each year.
- Local governments, like the City of Boston, are making use of CALC as well.
WOW — I saw your blog post announcement for the Contract Awarded Labor Category Tool (CALC) and all I gotta say is WOW! I am not sure why trumpets are not blaring, horns are not tooting and bells are not ringing! This is truly a great day...This tool will make the whole process a whole lot more accurate, easier and faster.
—Email from CALC user