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Delivering on Our Open Government Promise

April 5th, 2011 by Steven VanRoekel - Managing Director, Federal Communications Commission

Look across the landscape of government websites, and you see a common phenomenon: a dot gov site at rest, stays at rest.

Our own FCC.gov is proof enough. What was hailed in the late 1990’s as one of the leading federal web sites has sprawled out over time, moving with the organizational changes of the FCC, but largely resisting the outside forces of technical evolution and consumer expectations.
The FCC wasn’t alone; across the government, agencies faced similar challenges: long, cumbersome procurements; lack of focus on the importance of this work; or simply an unwillingness to devote the resources needed to keep up.
Thankfully for this community -- and for every American citizen -- a strong force has been quickening the pace of change. The principles of “open government,” which urge federal agencies to embrace the inertia created by engaged citizens -- the real dot gov shareholders -- are helping to move these vital issues forward.
The new FCC.gov comes from you: the citizens who commented on our blog posts, who submitted suggestions on our citizen engagement platforms, who answered our surveys, and who use the site day in and day out to make American technology work. In his State of the Union Address, President Obama called on government to be “open and competent,” building off new skills and driven by new ideas. Our reimagined FCC.gov answers the President’s call, and delivers on our open government promise.
With the launch of the new FCC.gov, we’re proving that Washington can keep up with the speed of the Web, implementing today's tools with an eye to tomorrow's innovations. Some of the highlights include:
  • One voice of the FCC: Intuitive design and layout optimized for the everyday citizen who isn’t familiar with the FCC’s own organizational chart.
  • Top tasks: Surveys, testing, and analytics showed us what FCC.gov users do on our site. Those tasks now follow visitors throughout their FCC.gov experience in the “Take Action” bar.
  • Great search: A powerful shortcut to help users get in and get what they need. For business users, powerful search filters make finding documents easy. 
  • Tech-forward: Built in the cloud, and developed with open source software, the new FCC.gov lowers barriers to future development as part of a long-term IT cost-cutting strategy.
  • Feedback everywhere: Putting citizen skin in the game to make FCC.gov work better for users, and holding us accountable to continual improvement.
  • This beta launch isn’t a beta in a traditional sense. FCC.gov will change again -- and quickly. It’s an approach that’s fairly foreign to the way most agencies work on the Web. But we’ll build this new experience on a solid, future-ready platform; we’re taking a page from the online entreprenuer’s playbook, releasingproducts  quickly and often,  and letting the many eyes of the Web drive the continuous improvement we hope FCC.gov will come to embody.
The scope of the changes to FCC.gov will also expand over time. The FCC new media team is continuing an aggressive campaign of applying innovative tech and techniques to the FCC's legacy databases and systems. Many of these systems facilitate billions of dollars in transactions that are vital to American prosperity in a global, connected economy. We can use the lessons we learn from the new FCC.gov to simplify data collections, improve time to market, and facilitate transactions at the speed of 21st century technology.
Welcome to the reimagined FCC.gov. Leave your comments below -- or participate in our online engagement platforms -- and tell us how we can continue improving FCC.gov together.


5 Responses to “Delivering on Our Open Government Promise”

  1. Guest says:

    But are you aware that you have people holding very sensitive positions within your financial area's of the OMD office in positions of seniority who themselves are advising the FCC on financial issues, yet, there own house is not in order. How can the FCC promise us that our tax dollars are going to good use when they hire someone to advise them on financial matters and that person's mortgage is upside down/underwater and he is trying desperately to stay afloat. I dont know about you, but if you cant keep your personal issues and your house straight, how in the world or what in the world are you doing advising the FCC on financial issues ON A SENIOR LEVEL!!!????.

  2. Steve Crowley says:

    If I am a "real dot gov shareholder" and "President Obama called on government to be 'open,'" why hasn't the FCC yet approved my comment on the Blogband entry regarding the Chairman's March 16, 2011 speech?

    You want to be held accountable. Start there.

  3. Guest says:

    I think the FCC is on the right path and although there is always room for improvement they are taking the right steps. Steve... ease up, the FCC blog and President Obama are two totally separate things, just as your local town zoning board and Obama do not "work together", Obama is not the one deciding whether to approve your comment or not.


  4. John Garthy says:

    Obama and his gov have destroyed our country. We are one step behind of an economical disaster.

  5. Guest says:

    Respected Sir,
    Congratulation for your new appointment!
    I hope you bring new reform in IT. I would like to see one are you should at-least pay little bit more attention is IT contract hiring processes.
    There are so many facts which you may aware of
    1. Fake resumes used by more than 90% of people in applying jobs
    2. consultant company run this business with closed eyes because of billing
    3. It increase cost for company and eventually companies are more reactant to send work to overseas.

    Please sir this is really important issue!

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