FRAMINGHAMm Mass. - The U.S. government has released a Digital Government Strategy
that urges agencies to convert their troves of data into accessible formats for the public.
It also calls for a remaking of the central online hub for government information, Data.gov, into a data and API catalog that pulls data from agency sites.
In his blog, VanRoekel said the Obama administration's strategy "takes a co-ordinated, information- and customer-centric approach to changing how the government works and delivers services to the American people ... Designing for openness from the start -- making open data the default for government IT systems and embracing the use of web APIs -- enables us to more easily deliver information and services through multiple channels, including mobile, and engage the public and America's entrepreneurs as partners in building a better government."
Additionally, the Digital Government Strategy directs federal agency CIOs to optimize their public-facing data for a new crop of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. That includes setting a new default standard of open data and Web APIs for government information.
"Over the next 12 months, you will start to see an important shift across the federal government," VanRoekel said. "Agencies will increasingly open up their valuable data to the public and set up developer pages to give external developers tools to build new services."
The blueprint also calls for the formation of a new centralized advisory group to eliminate information silos between agencies and preside over the "shift to a shared-platform culture." A recent report on the use of Web technology across the federal government found 150 distinct implementations of 42 separate systems to create and publish Web content, distributed through the use of some 250 hosting providers.
"We will do all of this while reworking the federal government's own use of mobile -- saving taxpayer dollars and providing better service by bringing consistency to the way we buy and build for an increasingly mobile workforce," VanRoekel said.
Tony DeLaGrange, senior security consultant with Secure Ideas,said he was encouraged that the new plan acknowledges the unique security risks that come with an increasingly mobile workforce, which include threat vectors related to both the applications and data stored on the devices, as well as vulnerabilities in their connections -- both cellular and Wi-Fi networks -- and, of course, the wildcard challenges associated with end users.