This section has been updated to reflect communication by the Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) State Purchasing Division (SPD) on the topic of crowdsourcing services.
What is crowdsourcing?
“Crowdsourcing” involves obtaining work, information, or opinions from a large group
of people who submit their data via the Internet, social media, and smartphone apps.
There are many companies that provide crowdsourcing services. Examples include, but are not limited to, Mechanical Turk, Prolific, Freelancer.com, Fiverr, Craigslist, and Upwork.
While crowdsourcing can be an effective means for performing certain activities, it can also introduce risk of fraud (through lack of internal controls) and other challenges in complying with state procurement rules.
Crowdsourcing Services using PCard
Crowdsourcing vendors such as Mechanical Turk, Prolific, Freelancer.com, Fiverr, Craigslist, and Upwork are prohibited for use within the state PCard program. These vendors are prohibited for several reasons and risks including:
- Lack of Internal Controls
- Failure to meet E-verify requirements
- Potential of violating a mandatory contract for temporary services
- Accounts require prepayment
However, SPD will consider special approval requests submitted only for the purpose of research surveys. UGA departments that would like to seek approval to use a crowdsourcing vendor should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Services or vendors should not be engaged until approval is received. Please allow a minimum of 5 business days for the SPD review process.
- If approval is granted, the use of a crowd-sourced service provider does not relieve the UGA department of its obligations to comply with State purchasing policies and procedures, as outlined in the Georgia Procurement Manual.
- Regardless of dollar value, these transactions must meet Federal, State and BOR guidelines to include data protection, immigration, and competitive bidding requirements.
If there is a need for crowdsourcing services other than for research surveys, please contact Procurement by submitting a Service Desk ticket to discuss their need and what options may exist.