Digital center opens, part of Obama's digital strategy

The Obama administration’s strategy for a more mobile-friendly, customer-centric government calls for the creation of an entity that will work with agencies to establish shared solutions and training to support infrastructure and content needs across the federal sector. Now, the Digital Services Innovation Center has launched, and it’s looking for ideas on how to innovate.

As laid out by the digital government framework, the center will initially focus on three areas:

  • Identify shared and open content management system solutions and support adoption through training and best practices.
  • Help agencies develop web Application Programming Interfaces and unleash data by providing resources and support to enable developers, entrepreneurs and others to leverage government data and content.
  • Launch a shared mobile application development program to aid agencies develop device-agnostic mobile applications, provide a development test environment to streamline app delivery, promote code sharing, and validate official government applications.

The center will have a small core staff housed within GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies but will use contributors governmentwide to achieve its mission, Gwynne Kostin, director of the Digital Services Innovation Center, wrote in a blog post on July 13.

“As a result of GSA’s work on the digital government strategy, the American public can expect an improved customer experience from digital government services,” she said. “Over the coming year, the public will be able to access and use more government information than ever before.”

Other agencies within GSA are also working on implementing the digital government strategy. The Federal Acquisition Service, Office of Government-wide Policy and Data.gov are making efforts into expanding shared services, increasing efficiencies and providing tools for a better government, Kostin said.

Kostin also provided an e-mail address those interested in ways to help the center innovate: digitalgov@gsa.gov.

Kostin's appointment to the role was revealed in May, not long after the digital strategy itself was announced. Kostin previously was director of mobile for the GSA Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. During her tenure in that role, federal agencies and public, private and volunteer developers created more than 100 mobile-enabled federal websites and mobile native applications for Apple and Android devices using federal data.

About the Author

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

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