Feds Release Source Code for Dozens of Government Apps


Agency developers could use the code to create new apps or suggest changes to existing apps.

The government’s Digital Services Innovation Center posted the computer code for dozens of citizen-facing mobile applications and websites to the code-sharing site Github on Tuesday.

Officials at the center, which is part of the General Services Administration, posted the Mobile Code Catalog to Github so developers from other agencies or from outside government can piggyback on work that’s already been done for similar projects or suggest changes to existing apps and sites.

The catalog is coming online less than one week after President Obama signed an executive order requiring agencies to open to the public as much of the data they collect and produce as possible.

Only a small portion of the government’s full store of apps and websites is featured in the code catalog so far, though officials are encouraging more agencies to post their code.

Federal agencies have built more than 100 citizen-facing mobile apps in the past few years. The Veterans Affairs Department, for example, built an application to help veterans manage the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The State Department has an app for prospective Foreign Service officers.

The National Association of State Chief Information Officers posted a catalog of state government mobile apps on Monday, though that site only featured links to download the apps, not source code. 

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