News from the USA

I have to thank Rachel Flagg of the US Federal Web Managers Group for posting their white paper on the W3C e-government Interest Group. It’s a very interesting expression of their wishes for the future from President-elect Obama’s government IT and as such it is promising. It’s only four pages long, which also makes a change from many documents, public and commercial.

If the Cabinet Office think the U.K. has problems, the report states that: “There are approximately 24,000 U.S. Government websites now online (but no one knows the exact number).”

It also states: “Many agencies focus more on technology and website infrastructure than improving content and service delivery. Technology should not drive our business decisions, but rather help us serve the needs of the American people.” To which I couldn’t agree more!

One of the plans is that citizens will: “Provide feedback and ideas and hear what the government will do with them.” – Which is what this blog is all about!

Importantly it wants government to:

“Ensure the public gets the same answer whether they use the web, phone, email, print, or visit in-person. Agencies should provide multiple ways for people to contact them and ensure that information is consistent across all channels. They should be funded to coordinate all types of content targeted to the general public (web, publications, call center, email, common questions, web chat, etc). Agencies should be rewarded for delivering consistent information, both within agencies and across government.”

In the words of parliamentarians, here, here!

In case anyone wonders there is a Public Sector Web Managers Group in the UK, small and beautifully-formed, which has a lot of Paul Canning in it…

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