Four for the Fourth

Several of my recent blogs have discussed how the information technology gap between the public and private sectors is driving a gap in productivity and how closing this gap is key to creating a government that is efficient and effective.
Using IT more effectively can save taxpayer dollars, as we’ve seen through the use of online "dashboards" to track programs and to hold agencies accountable. It also can be used to deliver government services in a way that is more open and responsive. After all, in our daily lives, we use online and mobile media to do everything from banking to shopping, booking a trip, and taking a class. Yet, too often, when it comes to interacting with the federal government, it’s as if time stood still – and these innovations are not as widely available. 
That’s why today we are launching a new – the portal of the US Government – and with it a new Mobile Apps Store to unlock useful government information and give it to people in a way that they can use it conveniently and quickly. The store includes mobile applications from across the Federal Government. They are available on free of charge and most are compatible with iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices. Right now, we have about 20 applications on the site, and more will come in the weeks ahead.

And as we head into Independence Day weekend, the Apps Store is featuring Four Apps for the Fourth – applications that can help Americans plan for their holiday weekend. These include:
  • An app that provides around-the-clock access to frequently-requested airline information from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) including wait times at airport security lines;
  • An app for checking the UV Index and air quality ratings;
  • An app for quick access to nutrition information for over 1,000 foods;
  • And an app that provides instant information on consumer safety recalls of toys, food, and more.
These apps are available on the revamped, which has been fundamentally restructured to put frequently-requested information and vital resources only a click away.
Overall, the new site and Apps Store are just two ways in which we can provide a government that works for the American people, a fitting reminder as we look towards the holiday weekend. Download these apps, and have a happy Fourth of July!

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