U.S. flag An official website of the United States government
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you're on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser's address (or "location") bar.

SSL

This site is also protected by an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that's been signed by the U.S. government. The https:// means all transmitted data is encrypted - in other words, any information or browsing history that you provide is transmitted securely.

Obtain Agency Clearance

Obtain Agency Clearance

develop pencil and ruler icon

DEVELOP

In this phase you'll determine the challenge structure and implementation timeline. During this critical step, you'll work with internal groups to establish eligibility and submission requirements, terms and conditions, and judging criteria. You'll connect with your communications team to outline your announcement and ongoing outreach strategy to engage potential solvers.

Other Phases

prepare books phase icondevelop pencil and ruler iconconduct wheel iconaward star medal icontransition hand and star icon

Obtain Agency Clearance

Get the proper clearance and approval from your agency before you publicly announce challenge.

This process will differ depending on your agency and the legal authority for your challenge, but it's likely to include formal approval from leadership, review and clearance from legal counsel, and obligation of funds.

If you're using the legal authority under the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act, you also need to make sure that you have all of the required information for the challenge advertised on a publicly accessible government website, such as Challenge.gov.

Key Takeaways

1. Make sure you have the support of your senior leadership.

The last hurdle before launching your challenge is getting agency clearance. But you knew this was coming, so you've probably been speaking regularly with your senior leadership and legal counsel, and everybody's already on the same page. Right?

Because that's how it should work.

Gaining the support of leaders in your organization will make the agency clearance process so much easier. When we say "leaders," this could mean your direct supervisor, the chief counsel or even the head of your agency. If you're not sure what clearance is required, there may be a challenge mentor or someone else who has run a challenge at your agency who can provide guidance about obtaining clearance.

Try to set up individual briefings about the intent of your challenge with the appropriate people, and prepare a one-page summary that highlights your goals and expected outcomes. You can even use this summary as a cover sheet when you send documents around for clearance.

2. When necessary, work closely with legal or other agency process offices.

If possible, work with your agency clearance offices when drafting your documents. That way, you can identify issues that need attention sooner rather than later.

Your challenge is likely to move through the clearance process much faster if the officials required to sign off already have seen drafts of the documents. This means legal personnel, your supervisor and funding officials.

3. Make sure you understand and have addressed all requirements.

The documents required to launch a challenge vary depending on your agency. You can minimize  complications if you address all requirements before you start seeking agency clearance. Many of the requirements are interconnected, whether it's guidelines for selecting judges, eligibility rules or judging criteria.

But there's no way around it. At this point, you have to be able to outline the entire process.

Still have questions?

Contact the Team

Case Studies