White House wants to improve government websites
August 11th, 2014
01:30 PM ET
9 years ago

White House wants to improve government websites

Edgartown, Mass. (CNN) – The White House is putting the team of technology experts that helped revive the balky HealthCare.gov website to work, improving other government webpages, officials announced Monday.

The U.S. Digital Service, comprised of private and public sector technology experts, will help make websites of federal agencies and departments more user-friendly, accommodating the widespread desire among Americans to conduct business online.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'][twitter-follow screen_name='KevinLiptakCNN']

The team will be led by Mikey Dickerson, a former Google engineer who left the tech giant last year to help improve the health care website after it crashed spectacularly upon its launch in October.

A team of experts from technology companies helped turn around the site, which eventually accommodated a surge in insurance sign-ups over the course of the six-month enrollment period. Final numbers indicated Obamacare enrollments surpassed 8 million people.

The White House wants to harness some of the success of that effort, applying the same principles to other federal government websites that are outdated, non-user friendly, or both.

"The same dynamic that drove the [initial] outcome of HealthCare.gov is present in other places," said Steven VanRoekel, the federal chief information officer in President Barack Obama's Office of Management and Budget. "We're showing agencies: here's another way. Here's a new way to approach these things."

The new team, housed with the OMB, will eventually number around 25. Private sector experts will be joined by workers with experience navigating the complicated system of federal regulations that government websites must adhere to.

"When we look across where we want to gather expertise, it comes from multiple places. But the big push here is to bring in people from the private sector," VanRoekel said, describing the desire to find "21st century" approaches to the government's digital properties.

The larger goal for the group, officials said, was to rethink the way Americans interact with federal agencies – eventually taking on challenges facing call centers and physical mail.

There's "opportunity beyond just websites," VanRoekel said.

Filed under: Obamacare • President Obama
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Tone


    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA – Take Back the House Finally! Our government is stepping into the 21st century. I can't wait to hear the republican criticism on this.

    August 11, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |

    How about this, obama, always leading from behind! Ta Da!

    Last time i checked delegating responsiblity is not leading from behind, it's call leadership something the gop have no clue about the gop is a bunch of cluster...........

    August 11, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Klutch Cargo

    Aw, Well,
    Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall, Humpty Dumpty had a Great Fall, All the Kings Horses, All the Kings Men, Couldn't Put Humpty Together Again. Next year the Employer's Mandate Kicks in. I bet Humpty is still at the bottom of the wall. So, how is your Retirement Plan going??

    August 11, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. it must be said

    "Yeah, like 20 million people having obtained insurance coverage via the ACA

    Article claims 8 million, Sniffit claims 20 million. So who is lying?"
    The article was quite clearly talking about the number who had signed up via the federal exchange by the end of MARCH, which was 8M. New England Journal of Medicine just recently had an article by some experts showing that the total number of people who have obtained insurance coverage via the ACA is 20M, which includes state exchanges and Medicaid expansion, etc. It's measuring two different things. I'm sorry you're too underinformed to understand that.

    You clowns throw around your made up numbers, all of which are different and are totally meaningless. How many of the 20 million already had Medicaid and were NOT new enrollees because of Obamacare? Nobody knows or they won't report it. How many millions of the exchange enrollees were forced into the exchanges because Obamacare cancelled their old healthcare policies? Nobody knows or they won't report it. Let me know when you get an ACCURATE Obamacare enrollment number instead of some inflated pile of steamy dog poop.

    So where are the rest of the law breakers? At least 30 million using YOUR highly inflated figures. Is the IRS busy tracking them down or are they too busy targeting TEA Party groups because of the upcoming election?

    August 11, 2014 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
1 2