Obama: Government Agencies Have One Year To Deploy Smartphone-Friendly Services

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President Obama announced Wednesday a new "Digital Government" initiative that mandates all federal agencies to deploy mobile apps for at least two of their respective government services by this time next year.

The aim of the program is to create a model by which American citizens have easy, on-the-go access to government services via their smartphones and tablets rather than having to sift through a "labyrinth of information across different Government programs" to find what they are looking for.

In the directive he sent out to agencies, Obama made note of Americans being able to do things like pay bills, buy tickets and check airport wait-times on their mobile devices but still struggling to access government-issued services. The "Digital Government" initiative, he continued, is designed to change that.

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"Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime, anywhere, and on any device. By making important services accessible from your phone and sharing government data with entrepreneurs, we are giving hard-working families and businesses tools that will help them succeed," Obama said in a statement.

Agencies have been asked to follow a 12-month roadmap, as outlined by the "Digital Government" program, to deliver information in ways that take full advantage of mobile and web-based technologies. In addition to making at least two services available via mobile devices, agencies are being tasked with creating online resource portals for third-party developers and implementing analytical tools to gauge customer satisfaction on all ".gov" web sites.

Obama positioned the new program as an opportunity for the federal government to not only make the "mobile shift right along" with American end-users, but to spark job creation as well.

"The Administration is also ramping up its ongoing efforts to make large amounts of government data more easily accessible to the public to spur entrepreneurs to develop innovative new services and mobile applications that take advantage of this data, creating new opportunities, businesses and jobs in the process," the press release said.

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