Obama signs FOIA Improvement Act into law
June 30, 2016
President Barack Obama signed the FOIA Improvement Act into law Thursday, raising the bar for agencies seeking to deny Freedom of Information Act requests.
The White House is expected to release a new digital strategy for the entire federal government, perhaps as early as Wednesday during TechCrunch Disrupt in New York City, where U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel are scheduled to appear together.
According to a draft document obtained by FedScoop dated April 4, 2012, "Building a Future-Ready Digital Government" outlines a plan for delivering better citizen services where agencies will be instructed to execute on a three-layer strategic approach that aims to help government "innovate with less."
The three "layers" -- information, production, presentation -- comprise a strategy that decouples content from aesthetics and helps agencies focus on data, content management systems and allows them to more efficiently publish information across multiple platforms, such as websites, mobile devices or application programming interfaces.
The roadmap is divided into four components -- "Information-Centric," "Shared First," "Customer-Centric," "Security and Privacy" -- and outlines 30 targeted milestones for all federal agencies, the General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget, Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
"Building for the future requires us to think beyond programmatic lines," the document states. "To keep up with the pace of change in technology, we need to securely architect our systems for interoperability and openness from conception. We need to have common standards and more rapidly share the lessons learned by early adopters. We need to produce better content and data, and present it through multiple channels in a program and device-agnostic way. We need to adopt a coordinated approach to ensure privacy and security in a digital age."
The 20-page document also establishes a new Digital Services Innovation Center inside GSA that will "work with agencies to establish shared solutions and training to support both infrastructure and content needs."
Examples of these services, according to the draft, include "source code sharing tools, video captioning, language translation, usability and accessibility testing, certification for browser compatibility, web hosting, and security architectures."
The Digital Services Innovation Center will collaborate with a Digital Services Advisory Group comprised of members of the Federal CIO Council, Federal Web Managers Council and federal agency leaders.
Sources tell FedScoop that GSA Mobile Director Gwynne Kostin is likely to lead the new center.
As indicated in the draft, the roadmap unifies objectives outlined in the Obama Administration executive orders "Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service" (13571) and "Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government" (13576), as well as feedback derived from mobile and shared first policy task force initiatives and crowdsourced ideation platforms.