The General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services & Innovative Technologies released its 2011 annual report Friday, highlighting accomplishments in the areas of “Innovative Technologies,” “Open Government and Citizen Engagement,” “Citizen Services” and “Collaboration Across Governments, Best Practices and Training.”
“Citizens accessed our information and services more than 272 million times this year, visiting USA.gov and other websites, searching through USASearch, ordering and downloading publications, interacting via social media, and getting answers by phone calls and e-mails about thousands of different government services and programs,” writes GSA OSCIT Associate Administrator David McClure in the report.
GSA cloud computing initiatives include developing the Federal Risk Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), creating contract vehicles for Infrastructure as a Service, E-mail as a Service and other cloud-based and commodity IT services. In September, GSA announced that the Department of Homeland Security was the first to leverage the IaaS BPA.
As part of its Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, the report states 962 data centers will close by 2015 with expected savings of $3 billion.
Key open government efforts include launching Data.gov communities and the federal government citizen challenge site, Challenge.gov. According to the report, 36 federal agencies posted 130 challenges through the Challenge.gov platform and awarded more than $38 million in prize money. GSA expects to host 150 challenges in fiscal year 2012.
On social media, GSA continued to helped facilitate terms of service agreements through its TOS agreements program. According to the report, agencies signed 214 agreements with 59 social media providers since September 2011.
Citizen services highlights include continued management of portal sites like USA.gov, USASearch, GobiernoUSA.gov and Kids.gov. The report states GSA’s National Contact Center responded to more than 1.1 million inquiries in fiscal year 2011 and its knowledge base site, Answers.USA.gov, was accessed more than 5 million times.
Focus on mobile government became more evident in 2012, with GSA launching its Making Mobile Gov initiative to help agencies connect and collaborate on mobile strategy, development, security and citizen outreach. According to the report, more than 85 agency applications are now available at apps.usa.gov.
Looking ahead to 2012, McClure said, “While we’ve achieved tremendous success this year, we still face a number of challenges. As always, they bring with them many exciting opportunities for further innovation that will keep us on our toes in the coming year.”