The federal government’s chief information officer, Steven VanRoekel, said his office, the Federal CIO Council, the Federal Web Managers Council, and various agencies have “hit the ground running and are already hard at work” implementing the Obama Administration’s new Digital Government Strategy formally announced May 23.
Writing in a White House blog posted last night, VanRoekel said:
“We’ve established the Digital Services Innovation Center to operationalize the principle of ‘build once, use many times’ by serving as a virtual hub, supported by agencies across government, to incubate and accelerate innovative digital services.”
The Digital Services Innovation Center is being led by Gwynne Kostin, who work’s in GSA’s Office for Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, leading a efforts to help federal agencies deliver services and information to people’s mobile devices.
“The Innovation Center has been gearing up with a small core team from within the General Services Administration, and will draw on a pool of experts and creative thinkers from across government using temporary staffing arrangements, multi-agency teams, and others with specialized expertise and skills to address rapid turnaround needs. Work is underway on initial tasks, including identifying and providing performance and customer satisfaction measurement tools to improve service delivery and more.”
VanRoekel also said the Digital Services Innovation Center team “will also be central in working with the forthcoming “MyGov” Presidential Innovation Fellows project.
Additionally, VanRoekel said:
“Second, on June 13, I convened a set of leaders from across government – including representatives from the Federal CIO Council, Federal Web Managers Council, and several agencies – for the first meeting of the Digital Services Advisory Group. The Advisory Group will help steer implementation of the Digital Government Strategy, prioritize Innovation Center activities, and recommend government-wide best practices, guidance, and standards. The Advisory Group has already begun to work with the CIOC and FWMC on two early deliverables: guidance and best practices on allowing employees to use their personal mobile devices for work (known as ‘bring-your-own-device’), as well as agency-wide governance models for digital services.”
The effort follows up on growing evidence, including a recent survey by Breaking Gov, that confirms the belief by managers and officials at federal agencies that mobile technology can contribute significantly toward improved productivity in federal agencies and savings in taxpayer dollars.
VanRoekel also said:
“We’ve also tapped the deep reserve of citizen-innovators who want to help build a better government using the power of technology. There has been a groundswell of interest in the Presidential Innovation Fellows program, with 700 applicants for Fellows positions, and over 4,000 people in total expressing interest in following (and contributing to) their progress.
These fellows will help the government take on critical challenges such as giving individuals access to their personal health records and “liberating” government data to fuel entrepreneurship. The numbers of applications are very encouraging, and US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and I are thrilled to see this type of enthusiasm for the program and the mission it represents.”