Recently the office of the CIO for the USA put out a roadmap plan that outlines how the US government will enable secure access high-quality digital government information, data and services—”anywhere, anytime, on any device.” It provides a high level outline of how raw data should be made available, an application interface framework to connect agencies to data they need to operate, as well as driving goals for all bringing electronic data to the end consumers (aka the public). This is an unprecedented step in bringing the government in line with today’s technology and expectations of a mobile society.
It reminded me of when I went through the process of getting a permit for a block party from the local government (City of Columbus, Ohio if you’re watching!). It was a complete nightmare. I had to drive down to the Parks & Rec department to get the form (it was not available online), drive it over to the police department to get it approved (why wouldn’t they approve me shutting down the road in front my house for the neighborhood kids to have fun?!?!), drive it back over to the Parks & Rec department to get it finalized (or so I thought!). When I went to get the permit, the Parks and Rec department informed me that the form was invalid because it didn’t come directly from the Police department via interdepartmental mail. How was I supposed to know that? The officer that signed off on the permit didn’t know that either (he had been with the department for 30+ years!). Long story short, they called over and spoke with him — luckily he remembered me & told them it was ok, I paid $75, and received my permit. Imagine if this was a web page form that was directed to the appropriate department for approval. It would save everyone a lot of time, trouble, and unnecessary cost. While I understand this has little to do with the attached doc, it is indicative of how far we have to go before we can start talking about API’s to different systems and heaven forbid allowing me to fill out the necessary forms from my IPAD.
You cannot finish unless you start. This is a great start.
Download the PDF full doc here: digital-government-strategy