White House reinforces mobile initiative

The White House has unveiled a new effort to make government information and service more easily accessible on mobile devices as part of its larger effort to shift to a more "future-ready," mobile approach.

Just before U.S. CIO Steven VanRoekel and CTO Todd Park announced the new strategy, called  "Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People," President Barack Obama issued a directive to agencies ordering them to make use of it.

Read the full presidential memorandum here.

The May 23 directive requires all federal agencies to make two key government services available on mobile devices within the next 12 months. The administration is also working to make government data more easily accessible to the public to spur entrepreneurs to create new services and mobile apps, ultimately boosting job creation.

 “Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime, anywhere, and on any device,” Obama wrote. “By making important services accessible from your phone and sharing government data with entrepreneurs, we are giving hard-working families and businesses tools that will help them succeed.”

These two initiatives are part of the administration’s more comprehensive digital road map that’s being announced today. The "Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People" is designed to enable more efficient and digital service delivery by requiring agencies to set measurable goals for delivering better digital services.

“Ultimately, this strategy will ensure that agencies use emerging technologies to serve the public as effectively as possible,” Obama said in his directive. “As a government, and as a trusted provider of services, we must never forget who our customers are -- the American people.”

The administration also announced that Park is launching a new Presidential Innovation Fellows program. The initiative aims to bring in private-sector innovators to work with their government counterparts.

“The initiatives we’re launching today will make government data resources even more accessible to the public and to entrepreneurs who can turn these data into services that can help Americans find the best doctor for their family, choose the college that offers them the most value for their money, save money on their energy bills through smarter shopping, and much more,” Park said.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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