The following is part of a special series of policy briefs by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars running until inauguration day. This piece, written by Commons Lab Early Career Scholar Zachary Bastian, tackles the need for reform in federal information technology.
As the world has become more dependent on information technology (IT), so has the federal government and its constituencies. Leveraged effectively, technical tools can engage the public, create cost savings, and improve outcomes. These benefits are obscured by regular reminders that federal IT is fundamentally flawed. It is too big to succeed. For IT to become sustainable, the federal government must enable change in three categories: 1) embracing agile development, modular contracting, and open-source software, 2) prioritizing small business participation, and 3) shifting the federal IT culture towards education and experimentation. The adoption of these reforms is vital. The current state of federal IT undermines good work through inefficiency and waste.
- Too Big to Succeed: The Need for Federal IT Reform (disaster-net.com)
TechAmerica Foundation’s Big Data Commission released today its long-awaited report, “Demystifying Big Data: A Practical Guide to Transforming the Business of Government.” It offers a comprehensive roadmap for the use of Big Data by the Federal government and a set of policy recommendations and practical steps agencies can take to get started on Big Data initiatives.
- A New Big Data Roadmap for Government (and Business) (forbes.com)
Posted by Steven VanRoekel, Office of Management and Budget, on May 23, 2012
When the Internet revolution arrived in the 1990s, the U.S. Government embraced this new medium to interact with the American people. Today, what started as basic information pages has evolved into sophisticated transactional systems that allow us to pay taxes online, download medical records, and so much more. Like the 1990s, we are now in the midst of another important shift in how people consume and deliver information and services. In 2011, global smartphone shipments exceeded personal computer shipments for the first time in history, and more Americans will soon access the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs. The rise of mobile further compounds the challenge of providing high-quality digital services in a cost-effective and efficient manner. That’s why President Obama issued a directive today to make important services accessible from your phone and charged me with developing a comprehensive strategy to build a 21st Century Digital Government that delivers better digital services to the American people. Today marks the launch of that Digital Government Strategy.
by Wyatt Kash, Aol Government, January 11, 2012
Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel today announced a new set of initiatives to spur broader adoption of mobile technology for the federal government, calling 2012 “the year of mobile government.”Speaking at a government conference held at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, VanRoekel described a new 2012 “Roadmap for Federal Mobility” that would put an emphasis on governance, sharing technologies wherever possible, and collaborating with the private sector to accelerate adoption. …
For full text of the article, visit US CIO Uses Electronics Show To Announce New Federal Mobility Plans.
- 45% Of Federal IT Pros Do Mobile Work Daily (informationweek.com)
- U.S. CIO VanRoekel Outlines What’s Next For Fed Tech (informationweek.com)
March 30, 2011
PRESIDENTIAL POLICY DIRECTIVE/PPD-8 NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS
SUBJECT: National Preparedness
This directive is aimed at strengthening the security and resilience of the United States through systematic preparation for the threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation, including acts of terrorism, cyber attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters. Our national preparedness is the shared responsibility of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and individual citizens. Everyone can contribute to safeguarding the Nation from harm. As such, while this directive is intended to galvanize action by the Federal Government, it is also aimed at facilitating an integrated, all-of-Nation, capabilities-based approach to preparedness.
Therefore, I hereby direct the development of a national preparedness goal that identifies the core capabilities necessary for preparedness and a national preparedness system to guide activities that will enable the Nation to achieve the goal. The system will allow the Nation to track the progress of our ability to build and improve the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from those threats that pose the greatest risk to the security of the Nation.
The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism shall coordinate the interagency development of an implementation plan for completing the national preparedness goal and national preparedness system. The implementation plan shall be submitted to me within 60 days from the date of this directive, and shall assign departmental responsibilities and delivery timelines for the development of the national planning frameworks and associated interagency operational plans described below.
For full text of PPD-8, visit DHS | Presidential Policy Directive / PPD-8: National Preparedness.
- PPD-8: Announcing the National Preparedness Goal (whitehouse.gov)
Today we launched Energy.Data.Gov, the latest installment of our growing family of Data.gov communities to deepen our engagement with stakeholders interested in the analytics to measure our Nation’s energy performance. As with our previous open government communities, in health and law, this platform aggregates tools, high-value datasets, and applications to shed light on energy use. It includes 216 free datasets and tools have been gathered from agencies across the Federal government with the goal of empowering all Americans to understand energy issues, including energy consumption within the Federal government.
For full text of the article, visit An Invitation to Our Latest Open Innovation Ecosystem: Energy.Data.Gov | The White House.
- Data.gov Evolves From Repository To Cloud Platform (informationweek.com)
- Fate of Data.gov Revealed; US Gov Almost Completely Drops the Ball (readwriteweb.com)
- Data.gov et al. Budget Slashed by 75% (readwriteweb.com)