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Kundra and Phillips Chat About IT Spending Transparency

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, July 2 2009

In a half-hour live chat conducted on the White House website and Facebook, U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra and White House new media director Macon Phillips explained the inspiration for and mechanics of a new federal tech spending oversight site that debuted at PdF '09 earlier this week. IT.USAspending.gov offers a portal onto agency spending data on high-dollar federal technology investments. During the live chat, Phillips pulled in questions from the Internet. (One the chat got rolling, Facebook questions, said Phillips, were coming in "fast and furious.") Kundra answered them -- including an intriguing little riff on how every new historical transformation in the nature of technology compels government to adapt, either to merely survive or, hopefully, to thrive.

Coming in at just under 30 minutes, true geeks are going to want more detail on the Kundra approach to data-enabled management. Most normal human beings are going to want less. But this lunch-time sized session of engagement is a low-bar way to include the greatest possible swath of citizens in the changing nature of government.