Justice Department releases two APIs as part of new digital services

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The Justice Department has opened up its news and law jobs sections to the general public through two new application programming interfaces.

Announced
in a release Tuesday, the Justice Department unveiled the DOJ News API and the DOJ Law Jobs API, which enable Web developers to build mobile apps, websites and other software applications that can search, sort and filter through the department’s press releases, blog posts, speeches and job vacancies.

“The APIs are part of an effort to replace aging technology with a cloud-based, open source platform,” Joseph Klimavicz, the agency’s chief information officer and deputy assistant attorney general for information resources management, said in a release. “Website content that has been migrated to the new platform automatically adjusts to fit any device, including mobile devices and tablets, as well as desktops.”

The launch accompanies the CIO office’s effort to migrate DOJ Web systems to an open-source, cloud-based system. According to the release, the upgraded infrastructure comes alongside a website upgrade that adds search, sort and filter capabilities to the department’s thousands of congressional testimony, court brief, legal opinion and Freedom of Information Act decision documents.

The new APIs and the upgraded Web system were developed by the guidance
established by the U.S. Digital Service Playbook. The department also collaborated with the General Services Administration’s 18F.

“It’s wonderful to see the Justice Department building out their suite of APIs,” GSA Senior API Strategist Gray Brooks said in the release. “There’s fantastic potential in government APIs, for the public as well as for agency operations. Simply put, this is the future of digital government and the efforts that go into justice.gov/developer will result in a more efficient and productive operation.”

The U.S. Digital Service team, which is based at the White House Office of Management and Budget, did not respond to FedScoop’s requests for comment on the Justice Department’s latest digital efforts by publication time.

The new digital services make “the department’s information assets more accessible than ever before,” Klimavicz said. “The open source platform also enables the department to refresh content rapidly, providing better access to information to the American public.”

DOJ has released other tools for developers as well, including APIs for DOJ’s National Crime Victimization Survey and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Trace Data Report. In addition, the Justice Department offers a widget for websites that pulls from DOJ crime solution shareable program records.

Earlier this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs
launched a digital service team as well, similar to 18F and USDS.

DOJ did not respond to FedScoop’s requests for additional comment by publication time.

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Agencies, App Development / APIs, Applications & Software, Archives, Cloud Computing & Networking, Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Veterans Affairs, Departments, DOJ Law Jobs API, DOJ News API, Government IT News, Gray Brooks, Information sharing environment, Innovation, Joseph Klimavicz, Management & Budget, National Security Agency, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), open source, shared services, Tech, White House
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