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#1 MiscProgram  Icon User is offline

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A Small Program with Big Impact (1 Trillion Dollars in Oversight)

Posted 28 October 2016 - 07:11 AM

Overview: This is a competition with a potential 28k prize, but it has an element of volunteer work since payment depends on winning. The project involves a small piece of software that has a big impact on the oversight of over one trillion dollars in United States government healthcare spending. Check out this article for an example of how the current version of the software is used.

Location: Anywhere, but money will only be paid to citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Requirements: The project involves re-creating four target functions from a software package known as RAT-STATS (you can find the current version of RAT-STATS here). As was the case with the original program, the new program must operate without use of the internet on a standard Windows operating system. For a full description of the challenge requirements along with detailed specification of the target functions see the official challenge website.

Time frame: The challenge will be held open until May 15, 2017, 5PM EST or until five qualifying entries are received. Each qualifying entry will receive 3k and the winner will receive an additional 25k (again the official challenge website provides a more complete explanation along with the number of qualifying entries that have been identified to date).

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Replies To: A Small Program with Big Impact (1 Trillion Dollars in Oversight)

#2 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Small Program with Big Impact (1 Trillion Dollars in Oversight)

Posted 28 October 2016 - 07:16 AM

Just to clarify, are you trying to get people to enter this competition, or are you looking for collaborators for your entry in this competition?
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#3 MiscProgram  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Small Program with Big Impact (1 Trillion Dollars in Oversight)

Posted 28 October 2016 - 07:25 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 28 October 2016 - 07:16 AM, said:

Just to clarify, are you trying to get people to enter this competition, or are you looking for collaborators for your entry in this competition?


Looking for people to enter the competition. That is a really good question as my original post was not clear. Thanks for bringing the issue to my attention!
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Small Program with Big Impact (1 Trillion Dollars in Oversight)

Posted 28 October 2016 - 07:31 AM

As an FYI - the project is summed up as:

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The current version of RAT-STATS is well validated; however, its user interface can be difficult to navigate and the underlying code makes the software costly to update. OIG needs a new, modern version of the software that is easy to use and can be extended in a cost effective manner. In addition, the new version of the software must be 508 compliant.


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, are able to fully replicate RAT-STATS on 60 target cases, and include a description of a reasonable method for adding additional modules will each be declared a finalist.


.. so if you like retooling old software this is definitely your bag.

Oddly - none of the original code is around. Just an install. So it looks like going through the user docs, examining screens, and sketching out existing functionality while praying it covers all. Not ideal, but so it goes.
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#5 MiscProgram  Icon User is offline

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Re: A Small Program with Big Impact (1 Trillion Dollars in Oversight)

Posted 28 October 2016 - 07:50 AM

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.. so if you like retooling old software this is definitely your bag.

Oddly - none of the original code is around. Just an install. So it looks like going through the user docs, examining screens, and sketching out existing functionality while praying it covers all. Not ideal, but so it goes.


Oh, thank you for reminding me. The original program was written in VB6. The specifications can be found at the following website. The zipped folders on that site do not contain the exact original code, but for three out of the four cases they contain VBScript code which emulates the program. The differences mainly involve the GUI since VB6 and VBScript have the same underlying functions. As a caveat, one cannot use Excel Macros for the competition (the software needs to be stand alone).

This was a very helpful comment. Thank you!
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