With the release of the White House’s Digital Government Strategy, agencies are being asked to take certain steps towards growing digital government in the United States. Already, Jay Huie, who consults as a senior information engineer and an information architect, has built a website to track how well agencies are doing in their digital government initiatives. Jay sat down with Chris Dorobek of the DorobekINSIDER to discuss the website.
Jay spent a short weekend building the site, which was inspired by several other websites; those included one which monitors DNS security and another which is a non-partisan organization monitoring open government initiatives. He decided that he could himself create something to track whether agencies are following the digital government initiatives. His website highlights two requirements:
Agencies must have a developer page for people who want access to government data
Agencies must create an agency-specific digital-strategy, which is a way for them to convey where they’re going with digital strategy.
The agencies are rated with red, yellow, or green, depending on what they’ve accomplished.
Providing data is important because that data allows people to make decisions based on logic and standards rather than passion and intuition. Evidence based decision making is necessary for a more efficient government. For example, if the USPS decides to shut down a certain percentage of post offices, there will be debate over which one should be shut down based on intuition and emotions. However, if a standard is set saying “every US citizen should be within 20 or so miles of a post office,” decision-makers can look at data and determine which post offices are unnecessary in achieving that goal.
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