Government gets its first FOIA app
July 07, 2015
The Department of Homeland Security released an app that allows users to file FOIA requests straight from their smartphones, a first for the federal government.
David Stegon was a staff reporter for FedScoop and StateScoop from 2011-2014.
During his first year as the Chief Information Officer at the Government Printing Office, Chuck Riddle has focused on the “blocking and tackling” of the agency’s information technology infrastructure.
The plan has been finding ways to become more efficient on the day-to-day needs of the agency so more resources can be put toward implementing new technologies.
Riddle, who came to GPO after serving as the Chief Technology Officer at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, said he is focused on minimizing the agency’s server footprint (it currently has two data centers and wants to consolidate) by leveraging virtualization, cloud computing models and shared services.
“We really want to take a step back with our data centers and find a solution incorporating the cloud where we don’t have to consistently maintain the centers,” Riddle said. “As with most agencies budgets are tight, so our focus is finding ways to manage our core needs for less to focus more money elsewhere.”
Riddle said one of the biggest ongoing projects, though, is rolling out a virtual desktop infrastructure. GPO has already run a pilot of VDI and hopes to begin an agency wide deployment by the end of the calendar year.
The agency is also in the middle of deploying Voice-over-IP phone systems across the agency. That includes 14 GPO regional offices, including the Washington D.C. headquarters, which has already been completed.
Riddle said the GPO is looking for mobile device management solutions and is currently evaluating providers. He said the GPO is currently a Blackberry shop with a small community of iPad users among the senior management team, something he’d like to expand upon in Fiscal Year 2013.
Speaking on mobility, Riddle wants the agency to expand its use of mobile apps.
“We’d like to do more,” he said. “We want to be able to deliver more things using internal apps as well as external ones. Part of what I’m doing is trying to rebuild our internal development capability so we can create some of those ourselves.”