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New US Digital Service Looks to Avoid IT Catastrophes

BY Alex Howard | Wednesday, August 13 2014

USDS' Mikey Dickerson at the 2009 MySQL Conference (Photo by Jorge Bernal)

At a time when the public's trust in institutions is at historic lows, the federal government's use of technology has an unusual place in the national discourse. After the first Internet president's administration was responsible for the high-profile failure of Healthcare.gov, the issue seemed ripe to drive significant reform on Capitol Hill. Even if some 10 million adults gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act after "Obama's trauma team" made successful fixes to Healthcare.gov, negative public perception has lingered, and for good reason. Under the radar, other projects have continued to sputter, like a $300 million dollar Social Security government IT boondoggle that still has not delivered a working system for submitting disability claims. The crash of the FCC's dated website under the weight of 1.1 million comments this summer didn't help, either. At the same time, the confidence of the technology community has been damaged by revelations of dragnet surveillance and surreptitious backdoors planted in software. Now, the executive branch has launched two new initiatives aimed squarely at these issues, 18F and the just-announced US Digital Service, Alex Howard reports. Read More

At 18F, The U.S. Looks to Fail Fast on Government IT Projects Instead of Failing Big

BY Alex Howard | Thursday, April 3 2014

The state of govt IT today: Long lines in Columbia, SC waiting to sign-up for HealthCare.gov

Can a new small office inside the General Services Administration start to revolutionize how the U.S. government does information technology? That's the premise behind 18F. Longtime open government observer Alex Howard offers this in-depth report. Read More

Aneesh Chopra to Step Down as White House CTO, FedScoop Reports

BY Nick Judd | Friday, January 27 2012

Over at FedScoop, Luke Fretwell reports that Aneesh Chopra will step down from his position as White House Chief Technology Officer. Read More

Quote of the Day: 'One Click Away'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, August 2 2011

Consumer companies are one click away from extinction, so they have to innovate constantly. Yet in enterprise IT, which is far inferior to consumer IT, victory is considered winning that contract. Once companies win ... Read More

Vivek Kundra's Tips for Smarter Government

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, July 14 2011

At the Sunlight Foundation* blog, Daniel Schuman recaps ten principles for improving federal transparency that federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra delivered during testimony before a House Committee on ... Read More

Departures Continue Among White House Tech Staff

BY Nick Judd | Friday, July 8 2011

Politico notes the rising unease about the recent string of departures among the White House's tech staff. White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra will leave in August. Deputy chief technology officer Beth ... Read More

Open Government in the White House: Dead or Alive?

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 23 2011

There has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth since the news broke that White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra will be leaving in August. Absent Kundra's drive, goes the thinking — most recently ... Read More

With Kundra Leaving, Hunt for His Replacement Begins

BY Nick Judd | Monday, June 20 2011

Blogging for Forbes, Kevin L. Jackson names three possible replacements for outgoing White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. Kundra will leave the administration later this year to join Harvard. Department of ... Read More

Vivek Kundra is Leaving the White House [Updated]

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 16 2011

Vivek Kundra speaking at Personal Democracy Forum 2011 on June 7. Photo: Esty Stein / PdF White House Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra will leave the White House in August, Politico's Kim Hart reports. The details ... Read More

Pawlenty's "Google Test" Has Fans in Digital Government

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, June 8 2011

Tim Pawlenty; photo credit: Gage Skidmore Talking about the need to reduce the size of government, Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty says that he thinks about applying "The Google Test." The what ... Read More