Open Data

Agencies showcase latest apps and API efforts

USAJobs mobile app

The USAJobs mobile site. (FCW illustration)

The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Personnel Management are highlighting some of the mobile-enabled and open-data applications they’ve made available with an eye to fulfilling the White House’s Digital Government Strategy.

In a May 24 post on the DHS blog site, acting chief information officer Margaret Graves listed several milestones her agency has made in the pursuit of a more efficient and coordinated digital service delivery. Efforts are underway at DHS component agencies, as well as within DHS itself.

And in a May 28 post on the OPM Open Government Blog, that agency said it had launched new mobile services and open data apps for USAJOBS and Washington, D.C.-area federal employees.

On DHS's list:

The Transportation Security Administration launched a mobile-enabled version of its Traveler Redress Inquiry Program website that allows travelers to submit and track inquiries and complaints while they’re on the road. Users can report complaints about denied or delayed airline boarding status, watch list misidentifications and airport screening problems, among other issues.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Wait Times mobile-enabled website informs travelers of wait times at U.S. border crossings and ports of entry.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency released an app that provides geospatially-enabled hurricane evacuation route data for developers to use in their apps and web pages.

The National Terrorism Advisory System app also provides a feed of current alerts that developers can use. DHS has also launched DHS Web Developer to allow easier access to DHS-maintained open data APIs, web services, mobile apps, mobile-enabled sites and developers' forums.

OPM, for its part, said the new Operating Status/OPM Alert is the one and only official operating status app for the Washington, D.C., area. The free app provides a real-time look at the current operating status for federal government offices in the Washington region. Federal employees can view the current and active status of federal agencies in the Washington, DC area; sign up for notifications of status changes; review an archive of previous status updates; and get OPM-issued Washington, D.C.-area dismissal and closing procedures.

The agency also rolled out a new Android and iOS apps for the site. The new apps, said OPM, improves mobile searches on the site, including the ability to search and save job listings, receive updates on applications and job search agents and more. Search results can also be shared on social media or email form Android smartphones or tablet computers.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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