Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) ex-engineer Mikey Dickerson will head the new team of experts created to help upgrade the Obama administration’s technology infrastructure and make the White House website more consumer friendly. On Monday, a White House spokesperson said through a blog post that the new U.S. Digital Service is designed to create IT delivery so that serves its constituents more effectively and efficiently.
A 25-member team
According to the White House, Dickerson and his team will align government digital services with the private sector and work closely with the federal agencies to find out the drawbacks faced to design and operate customer-facing services. The new team to be headed by ex-Google engineer will include 25 people.
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Obama is on a two-week long summer vacation to the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard right now, but there is still lots of work going on at the White House. Initial funding of $7 million will be provided to the Digital Services team for fiscal 2014, and another $20 million will be assigned in fiscal 2015 in order to expand the team.
The U.S. Government decided to spend $840 million on the site as well as integrated systems in March 2014. The major focus is to develop the system’s back-end, which is halfway completed to date.
Ex-Google engineer sees improvement
“I’m excited for the opportunity to shift the focus of government IT delivery from compliance to greater impact and meeting the needs of real citizens,” Dickerson said in a statement released today. He also said that the service can be transformed into being more effective and cost efficient with better use of technology.
Obama has expressed regret with the shortcomings in the government IT procedures and expressed the need to change the system. Website issues plagued President Barack Obama’s signature health care legislation last year. In the very first week of new enrollment, the website was constantly crippled with technical issues. However, despite this the enrollment target was met. However, there were doubts and questions raised over the administration’s competence. Dickerson has been brought into the team to fix any future issues with the HealthCare.gov site.
The White House also launched a Digital Services Playbook of best digital practices for government agencies, as well as a TechFAR handbook with rules and suggestions on how to stay within federal regulations when purchasing services from private businesses.