Last January, I was privileged to participate in the White House Forum on Modernizing Government. The Forum brought together more than 50 CEOs from the nation’s leading organizations, deputy secretaries from cabinet agencies, labor union leadership, and senior White House Staff to discuss ideas for how government can use technology to save money and improve performance. During the Forum, I was able to participate in a breakout session with David Hayes, Deputy Secretary for the Department of Interior, on transforming government service. The discussion in this breakout session was both engaging and insightful, and focused on ideas for measuring customer satisfaction and improving the ways that the government can deliver services to the American people.
As a follow-up to the Forum, I am pleased to announce that the Office of the Management and Budget has released a follow-up plan entitled “White House Forum on Modernizing Government: Overview and Next Steps” (pdf). The plan outlines guiding principles that emerged from the Forum as well as next steps to continue engaging the private sector in our efforts to improve government productivity. The plan also identifies two areas of immediate focus where private sector best practices have applicability to the Federal Government, and where we know there is a meaningful gap: IT Program Management and Customer Service.
The eagerness of private sector leaders to lend their expertise, and that of their companies, to the common goal of improving Federal Government operations, represents one of the successes of the Forum. In response, we are also developing mechanisms for ongoing interaction and information sharing between government managers and private sector leaders, to build upon our open government efforts.
In collaboration with my colleagues throughout the Federal Government, I look forward to implementing these recommendations and improving the technology our government uses to make government work better for the American people.
Aneesh Chopra is U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Associate Director for Technology in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy