This is IT

Yesterday, the federal "IT Dashboard" went online — a new, one-stop clearinghouse of information that allows anyone with a web browser to track federal IT initiatives and hold the government accountable for progress and results.

A part of (an important step toward greater transparency and open government brought about by legislation introduced by then-Senator Obama), the dashboard provides easy access to federal technology spending information, project status updates, project manager contact information, and evaluation reports. The dashboard displays data from 28 agencies, information on more than 7,000 federal IT investments and detailed numbers on more than 780 large projects.

Specifically, you can see which IT projects are working and on-schedule (and which are not), offer alternative approaches, and provide direct feedback to the chief information officers at federal agencies. In effect, it allows you to keep tabs on the people who are responsible for spending taxpayers' dollars for technology. And with approximately $72 billion budgeted for federal IT spending this year, it’s important that these funds are spent wisely.

The IT Dashboard is part of a broader effort by the Administration to bring more transparency to the federal government to boost accountability and drive better performance. Vivek Kundra, the Federal CIO, has driven this effort, and in the days ahead, he will work with Jeff Zients, the Chief Performance Officer, on ways to expand the dashboard concept beyond IT spending and on other initiatives to open up the federal government.

For more on the dashboard and its launch at the Personal Democracy Forum conference in New York yesterday, check out the initial reviews from the Washington Post, Federal Computer Week, New York Observer and Tech President.

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