Long-awaited digital roadmap almost ready to debut

The White House will be releasing a digital strategy in the near future that will focus on how the government delivers services to the public and the growing federal mobile workforce.

“It’s coming very, very soon, and we’re incredibly excited to get it out the door,” said Haley Van Dyck, a policy analyst at the Office of Management and Budget. “It’s been a long time coming, but we’re confident that the extra couple of weeks we took to expand this strategy is going to be incredibly beneficial.”

Speaking at InformationWeek’s Government IT Leadership Forum at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. on May 3, Van Dyck said the strategy is the result of the federal government’s effort to improve its use of mobile technology and rethink its service delivery model for the digital era.

“Recognizing that mobile and online are just different channels to present information, data and our services, we really needed to take a step back and look at how we could bake that process in from the beginning other than building our services and information and then looking back over our shoulder and say, ‘OK, how can we get this into a mobile app, how can we get this online?’” she said.

One challenge in blending different digital strategies into one consolidated plan comes at the data level – how to collect data and then open it up in an efficient way through machine-readable formats and using web services to enable the use of government data inside and outside agencies, Van Dyck said.

The primary goal of the forthcoming road map will focus on providing citizens and the mobile federal workforce easier access to government information and services, “anywhere, anytime and on any device,” Van Dyck said.  “The second goal is, as we start rethinking of how we rebuild services [we’ll] take the opportunity to do so in a smart, secure and affordable way, and look for opportunities to streamline these processes across government and be as efficient as we can."

As a “structure-approach” framework, the document lays out tasks and a 12-month marker for agencies. Van Dyck didn’t go into concrete deliverables but said one of the higher, governing principles includes creating a data- and information-centric approach to how the government delivers services.

The release date for the new strategy wasn’t officially disclosed, but sources in the know indicated May 24 as the day for the unveiling.

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