Delighted techies and geeks throughout the United States agree: The Obama administration understands open source software, leveraging social media and providing transparency in governmental activities wherever possible. Unfortunately, unless you’re paying very close attention, it’s easy to think most of this stuff is a wish-list and needs to be battled out in Congress so bills can be passed.
Fortunately, most of these initiatives are policymaking in nature and therefore can, and are, able to be developed and delivered quickly.
To that end, on July 1, Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra sat down with White House director of new media, Macon Phillips, to answer questions from Facebook and WhiteHouse.gov on technology, information, and transparency. Kundra discussed the new IT Dashboard, which enables everybody to look at how the government is spending money for information technology and allows each of us to analyze and evaluate these investments.
With respect to innovation and its impact on Minnesota, there are three key parts to the Administration’s initiatives (which go beyond Kundra’s sphere of influence):
· Innovation in the Economy: Drive Economic Growth and Solve National Problems By Deploying a 21st Century Information Infrastructure
· This includes everything from a comprehensive national broadband plan, to new health-care-information technology, to a modernized electrical grid, along with a focus on cybersecurity.
· Innovation in Science: Invest in Science and Science Education
· Climate change, energy and other initiatives are key, as is a focus on education.
· Innovation in Public Administration: Creating an Open and Secure Government
Strategic federal IT investments will make government more transparent and accountable. At the same time, Americans will know that these investments by their government are being leveraged to produce maximum value, and that the security of information systems nationally, and the privacy of Americans, are being protected. Strategic investments in IT are at the heart of the efforts to make government services more effective, accessible, and transparent.