Monday, April 14, 2014
Digital Government Lip Service?
Although, a couple of my fellow bloggers have touched on this subject I thought that there was still more that could be said about this topic. The Obama Administration has pushed its Digital Government strategy but much of its intent has not been realized. The strategy sought for the ability of government agencies to publish information is useable ways via the internet to the public. There are several obstacles in the way of this strategy to include funding, management perception and even the digital divide.Lack of funding is prevalent in any government agency. All agencies have missions to accomplish and feel that they are lacking in the resources to complete those missions. Agencies have to prioritize requirements, allocating the resources based on those priorities. This can also tie into management perception. If new requirements are added to an agency’s mission and do not come with funding, how is management supposed to prioritize that requirement? If it did not come with funding to accomplish the requirement, how high of a priority can it be? However, the Digital Government requirement does come with push from the Obama Administration and therefore it must be placed over a current agency priority. This causes agency problems because agencies now have a harder time completing their current mission due to resources being allocated to the Digital Government enterprise.
The Digital Government strategy will also have trouble bridging the digital divide. Government can provide digital services, but if the ones who need them cannot gain access because they do not have a computer or internet access, the effort is all for not. How will the Digital Government strategy address this issue?Digital Government needs to be addressed as a priority and come with funding to assist agencies accomplish their missions in conjunction with the digital requirement. While these are obstacles, they are not insurmountable. Digital government has some great sites such as Data.gov and Archives.gov, but there is still a long way to go. Maybe is the current administration did not waste resources on petitions.whitehouse.gov there would be more funding available for digital government initiatives that provide value. Government implementation takes time especially when the legal concerns must be resolved. The following website has links to polls taken concerning the current state of the Digital Government Strategy.