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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Obama Administration Launches Sweeping Shift to Mobile

New Directive to Make Federal Services Available on Mobile Devices, Spur “App Economy” and Entrepreneurship

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the Obama Administration is launching a new initiative to accelerate efforts to make new and useful services available to consumers on their mobile devices. As part of the President's commitment to delivering a 21st century government, he is issuing a directive today requiring that each major Federal agency make two key government services the American people depend on available on mobile phones within the next 12 months. The Administration is also ramping up its ongoing efforts to make large amounts of government data more easily accessible to the public to spur entrepreneurs to develop innovative new services and mobile applications that take advantage of this data, creating new opportunities, businesses and jobs in the process.  These actions are part of a larger digital strategy being implemented by the Administration---a roadmap that will guide the Federal government as it makes the most of new sources of digital information.  

President Obama said, “Americans deserve a government that works for them anytime, anywhere, and on any device. By making important services accessible from your phone and sharing government data with entrepreneurs, we are giving hard-working families and businesses tools that will help them succeed.” 

Mobile is rapidly becoming the platform of choice for Americans; it is now anticipated that by 2015 more people will be accessing the Internet via mobile phones than via traditional desktop computers.  To serve the American people as they make this transition, the Administration is committed to making the mobile shift right along with them. The digital strategies announced today intend to do just that. By next spring, the American people will be able to access dozens of additional government services on their mobile phones for the first time.

The President has tasked his U.S. Chief Information Officer, Steven VanRoekel with releasing this comprehensive roadmap to help the Federal government seize on this opportunity and re-think digital services.

“We’re living in an increasingly mobile world and it is critical that the Federal government keep up with the way the American people do business. Already, families can use government apps to check the wait time at the airport, get access to critical veteran services, and check the status of their tax return. Today’s directive will accelerate our drive to make key services easily accessible to more Americans than ever,” said VanRoekel.

In conjunction with the launch of this strategy, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park is launching a new Presidential Innovation Fellows program.  This new initiative will bring in top innovators from outside government for focused “tours of duty” to work with Federal innovators on creative new projects. Among the projects that the Fellows will take on are ones to make consumer-friendly government information about health, education, energy, safety, and personal finance more accessible to all Americans.

“The release of government weather and GPS data has already led to countless entrepreneurial innovations, which have made life easier for America’s families while also creating multi-billion-dollar industries and generating jobs.   The initiatives we’re launching today will make government data resources even more accessible to the public and to entrepreneurs who can turn these data into services that can help Americans find the best doctor for their family, choose the college that offers them the most value for their money, save money on their energy bills through smarter shopping, and much more,” said Park. 

The Open Data Initiatives program announced today will speed and expand the release of government data in machine-readable form in realms ranging from healthcare to education to energy to public safety, and will actively stimulate the creation of new apps and services by entrepreneurs that will improve the lives of Americans in many tangible ways and create jobs of the future at the same time.