Determining whether a third-party development agency is capable of meeting the necessary regulatory, quality, and security standards is a critical task for managers within the government. This blog post will give non-technical or less-technical government employees and program directors some insight into how to properly vet third-party developers for government work.
Public sector employment offers an immense range of technical job opportunities. Some of the primary sectors for government software development include:
The U.S government is involved in developing health information systems powered by machine learning (ML) algorithms to enable doctors, researchers, and medical professionals to be more precise in their work. Public health providers are developing a wide range of modern solutions, from developing mobile apps for on-the-go assistance to building chatbots that can serve as a first point of contact for booking hospital appointments, checking doctor availability, or conducting a preliminary diagnosis.
The U.S. government requires software developers to design technologies that will provide banking services for large corporate, government and financial institutional clients to help customers improve their earnings, manage portfolio risks, and make informed decisions about their short-term and long-term financial goals. For instance, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says that the commission is actively implementing machine learning algorithms to monitor and detect potential investment market misconduct.
Given the consistently high interest in government positions, the volume of new applicants applying each year is a bottleneck for the manual process of screening, interviewing, and onboarding new employees. The U.S. government HR sector is now using automation technology to help diagnose application backlogs, screen applicants for various security checks, guide applicants in the hiring process, and more.
Traditionally used legacy systems are creating problems rather than making processes simpler for the U.S. Government. These systems are difficult to maintain and vulnerable to all sorts of cyber-crimes.
The U.S. Government Accountability office says that the government “plans to spend over $90 billion this fiscal year on information technology and most of that will be used to operate and maintain existing systems, including legacy systems.”
The main reasons for shifting from legacy to a hybrid technological model are data privacy and cyber-attacks. While the government is trying to deploy technology to protect on-premise distributed systems from cyber-attacks, they are now resorting to mainframe technologies for their computing infrastructure.
Hiring third party developers can provide the following benefits for government departments:
The disadvantages of hiring third-party developers can potentially include:
The most important factor to consider is data leaks. Any third-party agency should be bound by a strict contract to avoid leaks of any confidential information.
Your government agency should include a “right to audit” clause in the terms and conditions of the contract. This provides you with a contractual and legal right to conduct an audit of the outside party’s compliance with the contract, and also puts them on alert as their records are subject to an audit. This can act as a security measure while hiring third-party developers.
There is a possibility that a third-party contractor will charge your organization for material or labor costs that are not reasonable for the contract. You should ensure that there is a formal process of reviewing and approving contracts, invoices/payment applications, receipt and acceptance of goods and services, and appropriateness of labor, material, equipment, taxes, and other charges.
The contract should clearly mention the steps that will be taken if duplicate or inappropriate charges have been levied. At the same time, you should ensure timely payments to the third-party development team to avoid any confusion regarding applicable charges.
You should specify key performance criteria of the third-party developers from a technical perspective and bake those into the contract specifications. The developer should be in sync with your core technical infrastructure and capable of improving existing systems when a need arises.
You should adequately test the developers you hire in advance in order to assess their knowledge of your specific domain. The required level of domain expertise should be clearly stated in the contract to avoid spending time and capital in training the developer because of unclear expectations.
Here is a quick checklist of questions that will help government teams easily shortlist a third-party development team:
The following signs may indicate that a development team is not up to the task of building critical government applications.
A company with limited or no experience in developing software for the government may not be a good fit for B2G builds. These companies require an investment of time and capital in training the employees to deliver as per the government's unique expectations.
Development companies already familiar with the entire process are more likely to complete the work in the same rhythm as before. They can also anticipate the expectations of government teams through prior work done.
Client reviews can have a huge impact on a company's image. Companies that do not have any favorable opinions or reviews from their clients should not be considered a good fit for government work.
Companies that want to undertake work from the government need to be educated about applicable regulations for their chosen domain. Companies that aren't familiar with the regulatory environment will require close monitoring to ensure that all the work is done as per regulations applied.
A competent third-party developer team will ensure that their work practices are ethical and transparent. Along with the government, this team will have a clear plan for improving public well-being through properly designed technological solutions.
Crowdbotics has experience building technology for government departments like the U.S. Air Force. Crowdbotics managed app development is a good option for meeting the unique needs of public sector clients, and the Crowdbotics platform is built for secure development and deployment in a modern tech stack. If you're looking for reliable, experience B2G developers, get in touch with our experts today.
December 29, 2020