White House assembles team of private-sector technology experts for government websites
WASHINGTON — The White House introduced a team on Monday to improve government websites and upgrade technology infrastructure in an effort to prevent a repeat of the problems with the botched rollout in October of the Affordable Care Act website.
The move was made as Republicans seek to drum up opposition to President Obama's signature health care reform law as a campaign talking point for the upcoming congressional elections, partly by emphasizing HealthCare.gov's nightmarish initial release on Oct. 1.
The team of about seven to 10 private-sector technology experts branded the “U.S. Digital Service” will include Mikey Dickerson, a former Google website manager and member of the White House-assembled team assigned last year to repair the federal health care site before its December re-release.
Dickerson worked on election monitoring services and on targeting television ads to party preferences for President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.
The new team, which has requested $20 million in next fiscal year's appropriations and hopes to expand to about 25 members, seeks to apply the same kind of private-sector technological expertise that helped save the health care website to help fix problems and improve the accessibility of other federal websites, such as Recreation.gov and IRS.gov.
The team plans to include federal workers on a rotating basis, who have knowledge of the government's “myriad of regulations and laws” that make technology difficult to navigate, said Steven VanRoekel, the federal chief information officer.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.