Government 2.0


Have a bright idea for saving Uncle Sam money? Obama wants it

Have any really good idea on how to save money? President Barack Obama wants to hear about them--and he’s got an award for the best one.

The second-round of the SAVE Award is here. The administration is asking federal workers to draw upon their firsthand experience and submit their ideas on how government can save money and boost performance.

Unlike the first SAVE Award, this year federal employees will rate the submissions, allowing them to apply their insight to the evaluation process to ensure the best ideas make it into the fiscal 2012 budget. Many of the other suggestions from last year’s contest were included in the federal budget this year.

Submissions will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Does the idea reduce costs in a way that is concrete and quantifiable?
  • Does the idea improve the way that government operates by improving the quality of output at lower costs,  simplify processes to reduce administrative burden, or improve the speed of government operations to improve efficiency?
  • Does the idea have a tangible effect on people's lives or environment?
  • Is there a clear and practical plan for implementing the idea?
  • Will it be possible to begin realizing savings immediately?

Federal employees are encouraged to submit their suggestions via www.SaveAward.gov by July 22. The federal employee with the winning idea will once again be invited to the White House to present the idea directly to Obama.

 

Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jul 08, 2010 at 7:24 PM0 comments


111 agency mobile applications for your smart phone

Want to locate the nearest U.S. embassy, send an e-greeting or retrieve federal disaster information on your iPhone, BlackBerry or Android mobile device? The White House has published a list of 111 mobile applications sponsored by government agencies.

The “Comprehensive List of Government Apps”  is available now on USA.gov's Mobile Apps page as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The list features dozens of federal, state and local agencies, and includes mobile smart phone applications that have been completed or are under development.

For example, the State Department sponsors the embassy locator, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers the e-cards. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides the disaster updates.

WebContent.gov, which is part of USA.gov, is intended to help federal Web managers and content developers to use Web 2.0 technologies. It presents detailed information on various Web sites and Gov 2.0 applications for government. Its Mobile Applications page includes information targeted to mobile application developers.

In related news, USA.gov is preparing to debut the availability of new mobile applications for the iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and other devices, according to the  White House.

Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Jun 29, 2010 at 7:25 PM0 comments


Republicans ask public about spending cuts

YouCut is a collaborative Web site that allows the public to vote on cutting government programs, and has registered its millionth vote since being launched in May.

YouCut allows people to vote each week on what they consider wasteful programs to cut from the federal budget. House Republicans then bring the winning cut to the floor for a vote.

It’s arguable whether any one of these programs is wasteful and should be cut. We’ll put that debate to the side. This is collaboration in action in Congress.

In a community that’s very interested in getting in touch with the public, YouCut is more than participation with the public. It’s collaboration.

Martha Johnson, administrator of the General Services Administration, spoke May 24 at the 2010 Management of Change conference in Philadelphia about participation and collaboration. Even though the two words are used almost interchangeably, she pointed out the definite difference between them.

Participation allows anyone to offer suggestions or opinions on a topic. Participation may be about an issue with interested people who rank proposed ideas based on their merits.

“People think they’re collaborating because everybody’s talking,” which isn’t the case, Johnson said.

However, collaboration encompasses participation but also needs experts to help guide the topic and know if a suggestion is useful.

Collaboration needs the crowd to be engaged and offer solutions to a particular problem they are trying to solve, like in participation, she said. It also needs a review board to scan through the proposals for fixing the problem, with experts available to recognize which solutions have promise.

We’ll see, if through YouCut, the public will have any sway in the House.

Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jun 25, 2010 at 7:25 PM0 comments


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