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Top Government Leaders Explore the New Digital Government Strategy

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Digital Government StrategyOn May 24th, U.S. Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, and a panel of government executives explored the challenges and opportunities associated with the new Digital Government Strategy entitled “Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American PeopleExit Disclaimer. The event was organized by the American Council for Technology, the Industry Advisory Council, and the Association for Federal Information Resources Management.

Mr. VanRoekel and Mr. Park described the strategy, which offers a detailed, 12-month roadmap for federal employees to accomplish three goals:

  1. enable citizens and the workforce to access government information any time, any place, and from any device;
  2. ensure the government procures and manages devices, applications, and data in a smart, secure, and affordable way; and,
  3. spur innovation by unlocking the power of government data.

“It’s really about bringing government to where people are,” Mr. VanRoekel explained. To drive this transformation, the strategy outlines 30 targeted milestones for all federal agencies, the General Services Administration, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The strategy is built upon four overarching principles:

  • An “Information-Centric” approach—Moves us from managing “documents” to managing discrete pieces of open data and content which can be tagged, shared, secured, mashed up and presented in the way that is most useful for the consumer of that information
  • A “Shared Platform” approach—Helps us work together, both within and across agencies, to reduce costs, streamline development, apply consistent standards, and ensure consistency in how we create and deliver information
  • A “Customer-Centric” approach—Influences how we create, manage, and present data through websites, mobile applications, raw data sets, and other modes of delivery, and allows customers to shape, share and consume information, any time, any place, and from any device
  • A platform of “Security and Privacy”—Ensures this innovation happens in a way that ensures the safe and secure delivery and use of digital services to protect information and privacy

Mr. Park called for “a few good women and men” to take part in one of the strategy’s milestones, the development of a Presidential Innovation Fellows program to bring top innovators from outside government for focused “tours of duty” with the best federal innovators on game-changing projects. In fact, two of the five initial projects are directly related to the HIV/AIDS community: the Open Data Initiatives Program and Blue Button America.

A diverse panel of government executives further explored the strategy and its implications. Wyatt Kash, Editorial Director at AOL Government, moderated the panel, which included Michael Byrne, Chief Geographic Officer, Federal Communications Commission; Sheila Campbell, Director, Center for Excellence in Digital Government, General Services Administration; Rick Holgate, Chief Information Officer, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and Richard Spires, Chief Information Officer, Department of Homeland Security. During the panel, Mr. Spires assured the audience, “The one-year timeframe is doable if we all work together collaboratively.”

At AIDS.gov we have always been committed to advancing digital tools like the HIV/AIDS Prevention & Service Provider Locator. We are also close to completion of a new AIDS.gov website that will feature responsive design. Responsive design is an emerging practice in web development that allows designers and developers to adapt their content to the screen size of their device. It directly addresses the “any time, any place, and from any device” concept featured in the Digital Strategy and is a way to better serve all Americans. By accomplishing the goals laid out in this Strategy, we will better serve those people living with and most at risk for HIV/AIDS.

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