President Obama has issued a memorandum to US government agencies: get on mobile now. Citing an Executive Order (#13571) he gave about a year ago, which ordered agency heads to start seeking out and using innovative technologies to deliver their services, Obama has ordered all agencies to create mobile apps and websites within the next 12 months. And he’s helping them out too; today, the CIO will release a strategy guide to help agencies do this, titled “Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People.”
“The Strategy will enable more efficient and coordinated digital service delivery by requiring agencies to establish specific, measurable goals for delivering better digital services; encouraging agencies to deliver information in new ways that fully utilize the power and potential of mobile and web-based technologies; ensuring the safe and secure delivery and use of digital services to protect information and privacy; requiring agencies to establish central online resources for outside developers and to adopt new standards for making applicable Government information open and machine-readable by default; aggregating agencies’ online resource pages for developers in a centralized catalogue on www.Data.gov; and requiring agencies to use web performance analytics and customer satisfaction measurement tools on all “.gov” websites.”
It’s difficult to say how effective this memorandum will be, but Obama does explicitly order all agencies to create a publicly-viewable “digital strategy” page on their websites. The URL for these sites will be “www.[agency].gov/digitalstrategy” if you care to check it out.
Overall, it’s good to see Obama taking mobile seriously, even if he is a few years late to the party. Anything the government can do to unclutter and organize its services online would be helpful. Currently, it’s a mess and nobody knows where to go to find anything.