Sonny Hashmi: GSA to Foster Open Source Tech Development

Sonny Hashmi
Sonny Hashmi

Sonny Hashmi, chief information officer at the General Services Administration, said the agency is prioritizing open source and open data over regular commercial tools as part of a new policy, Federal News Radio reported Thursday.

Reporter Jason Miller spoke with Hashmi in an online chat about GSA’s move toward open source as the agency seeks to boost innovation and “smarter” investments amid budget challenges across government.

“My intention is that all code developed using taxpayer dollars within GSA should be in the taxpayer’s domain [open source],” Hashmi told Miller.

The report noted that GSA is already using the Github open source community alongside the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, while the U.S. Geological Service is exploring the community to facilitate software development crowdsourcing.

Hashmi said the agency also wants its developers to experiment with and develop code through the planned GSA Labs to support initiatives across the agency that leverage reusable technologies and platforms to reduce costs.

Other measures include zero-based budgeting and required review and approvals for IT purchases, Miller writes.

“We have tried to strike a balance between oversight and innovation and continue to refine this process,” Hashmi said.

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