recommended reading

Stimulus board launches 'Extreme Makeover: Web Edition'

The Obama administration is soliciting suggestions from information technology professionals, vendors and members of the public who think that its economic stimulus-tracking Web site needs a makeover.

Beginning Monday, the team that administers the stimulus Web site Recovery.gov will host a weeklong forum -- conducted entirely on the Web -- to encourage participants to "submit ideas on website design, data collection, data warehousing, data analysis and visualization, waste, fraud, and abuse detection, and other topics that are key to achieving greater transparency and accountability," according to organizers.

The "online dialogue" will be conducted on a message board manned around the clock by moderators from the National Academy for Public Administration, a nonpartisan advisory board charged with vetting proposed and existing government programs.

A spokeswoman for the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, the newly formed stimulus oversight panel that shares responsibility for Recovery.gov with OMB and the General Services Administration, said the online discussion will be the first step in soliciting ideas for the structure of the Web site, which is intended to let taxpayers see how stimulus funds are being spent.

Users will be able to vote on proposals published on the site, she said, and experts from NAPA will vet the suggestions and invite the vendors and citizens with the top-rated recommendations to a technology exposition on an as-yet undetermined date.

In addition to an announcement on the Recovery Web portal, the event is being publicized through IT trade associations, the spokeswoman said.

Critics of the administration's transparency efforts grumbled that the weeklong public discussion might provide a feel-good sense of collaboration and transparency but would provide few practical solutions for the Web site's flaws.

"If we're going to have a roundtable, let's invite a core group of technology experts who can move the ball forward," said Michael Balsam, chief solutions officer at Onvia, the state and local procurement tracking company behind a rival stimulus Web site, Recovery.org. "If we have 10,000 people online, I'm not sure what that's going to accomplish."

But Alan Balutis, a fellow at the National Academy for Public Administration and director of the business solutions group at Cisco Systems' global consulting arm, said that simply "rounding up the usual suspects" in the IT community is just as unproductive.

"People who are new to the issue bring interesting and different perspectives," he said, lauding the administration's open-forum approach. "Otherwise, you can fall into groupthink."

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.