White House releases digital strategy
The White House unveiled May 23 a digital strategy to reform federal mobility, websites and the sharing of digital services. The strategy (.pdf) was accompanied by a memorandum (.pdf) from President Obama directing agency and department implementation.
"This is a roadmap by which we are going to transform government to become this enablement platform, to unleash data, to unlock the potential that sits locked up in these .pdf files," said Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel while speaking May 23, at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York City.
"Open data is the new default…anywhere, anytime on any device, and everything should be API is driving towards a screen-size and vendor agnostic approach to delivering solutions both for citizens and federal employees," he said.
The strategy lays out 29 goals over the course of the next year. Among the goals, agencies and departments are required to fulfill within 12 months: make two key government services available on mobile phones, ensure all new IT systems use open web application programming interfaces, or APIs, and set up agency.gov/developer pages to share APIs.
"We're going to build things to work anywhere, anytime and in a mobile aware way, and do that in a way that should be enabled with APIs--both that we can build on and use across the federal government and that you can use," said VanRoekel.
The strategy also puts a permanent freeze on all new dot-gov domains and requires agencies to convert two existing systems to APIs. Data.gov will also see an update under the plan. The governmentwide data repository will transform into a web API, and no longer be a bulk upload and bulk download site, said VanRoekel.
The strategy also envisions a mobile acquisition and security program modeled after FedRAMP and a new innovation office led by the General Services Administration.
In conjunction with the release of the digital strategy, Federal Chief Technology Officer Todd Park unveiled a new Presidential Innovation Fellows program, which will bring private sector workers into federal agencies for focused "tours of duty" to help with certain projects.
"Basically what we're looking for is badass innovators--the baddest asses of the badasses out there. To come into the government for focused 6 to 12 month tours of duty to partner with our best innovators on game-changing projects," said Park at Disrupt.
"Among the projects that the Fellows will take on are ones to make consumer-friendly government information about health, education, energy, safety, and personal finance more accessible to all Americans," says the White House statement.
This program will also "speed and expand the release of government data in machine-readable form," the White House adds.