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Kudos to Obama for his U.S. Digital Service and recognizing how to innovate

The opportunity to work on the most important problems in the country is what the USDS is all about. Coming with any other agenda will get you nowhere.

digital services

What is the U.S. Digital Service?

I’m convinced that not all improvement and innovation comes from within the walls of government. A good portion of it comes from outside: At the grassroots level by individuals who can make the most impact. People like you and me.

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The fact of the matter is, the need for effective government services is rising, while confidence in the government’s ability to deliver the same is dropping. Our current reality is that most day-to-day interactions with government agencies are powered by digital systems. Now we can dress the concept up any way we want and make it look impressive but all too often, Federal IT projects run over budget, arrive late or stall coming out of the blocks. And who gets hit hardest? Working class Americans that need these same services. To its credit, the US government knows a flat tire when it sees one.

Welcome to the digital age

Every day, millions of people interact with the American government. It could be something simple like applying for a passport or filing a tax return. Or perhaps it’s something more complex like applying for Social Security benefits or a small business loan. It might even be something life-encompassing like searching for affordable health insurance or financial aid. The list goes on and on. The thing is, all too often, these interactions can be frustrating and cumbersome because of outdated tools and unreliable systems. The government is ready for a change.

The United States Digital Service is transforming how the federal government works for the American people and that time is now. U.S. Digital Service teams are taking on the stuff that matters: From benefits for Veterans and the health insurance marketplace to student loans, electronic health records, tools to combat human trafficking, and much more.

A textbook example

According to a press release from Whitehouse.gov, no single case exemplified all the challenges and opportunities that needed confronting than HealthCare.gov. Here was a site that would service millions of Americans. This highly public IT project made way for important changes to the way the Federal Government builds its technology and services. A digital team was able to improve the site with a radical new operating model, showing the potential for better processes to have a positive impact if adopted across the government. The confluence of attention on HealthCare.gov and a growing interest in the role of innovation, technology, and design have offered unprecedented opportunity, energy, and direction.

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Making progress

By its own accord, the U.S. Digital Service is using the best of product design and engineering practices to transform the way government works for the American people. Teams of problem solvers making government services simple, effective, and efficient.

In every corner of government, passionate and talented tech professionals who are dedicated to public service are joining together to make digital communication with the government more accessible.

#USDigitalService

Written By

Nearly three decades living and working all over the world as a radio and television broadcast journalist in the United States Air Force, Staff Writer, Gary Picariello is now retired from the military and is focused on his writing career.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. SwissTechie

    March 17, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    So, how can Americans living overseas communicate with the U.S. government to feel less unrepresented?

    • Lani Rosales

      March 17, 2016 at 9:40 pm

      Interesting question – can you add some context so we can attempt to offer an answer? 🙂

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