President Barack Obama met with British Prime Minister David Cameron Friday in Washington, D.C., to invigorate a running partnership between the U.S. Digital Service and the United Kingdom’s Government Digital Service.
The two countries have worked together to advance digital technologies since World War II. But, under the new accord, the leaders have agreed to strengthen their partnership and focus on open government and open data, the delivery of better digital services, and training the next generation of digital experts, according to administration officials.
In a White House blog post, Office of Management and Budget Secretary Shaun Donovan and Federal Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith wrote that USDS and GDS will begin sharing code “through the best-practice of open source.”
In August 2014, the White House launched USDS, the White House’s digital services production floor, under the guidance of ex-Google executive Mikey Dickerson. The service was strikingly similar to the GDS, described as “the centre for digital government in the UK, building and championing a ‘digital culture’ that puts the user first and delivers the best, low cost public services possible” when it launched in 2011.
“Both governments have developed digital service teams who seek to transform the way the government interacts with citizens and businesses,” Donovan and Smith wrote. “Through the partnership we are forging, these teams will continue to work together to share best practices and tackle shared challenges.”
Dickerson and his USDS team will also head across the Atlantic in coming months, along with “other innovators across the U.S. government” to “continue the teamwork with the U.K. GDS,” Donovan and Smith wrote. The blog post also mentions the General Services Administration’s 18F as another strategic element of the partnership promoting digital services.
At a broader level, the two countries also plan to boost their tech and Internet capabilities for citizens — hoping to grow “the next generation of digital experts” — and build upon their joint formation of the Open Government Partnership and past work with the Open Data Charter in the G-8.