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Report: Federal CIO Wants State and Local Collaboration for Better Online Customer Service

Vivek Kundra said federal, state and local governments must work together so that the public has easier access to information.

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra spoke last week of the need to partner with state and local governments to share technology and software that helps improve customer service on websites and other online venues, at the Government IT Leadership Forum 2011, held in Washington, D.C.

Speaking during the event’s opening keynote on May 5, Kundra said federal, state and local governments need to work together so that the public has easier access to information, according to NextGov. The federal CIO used an example of starting a business, citing the burdensome paperwork filing that needs to be done on all three levels of government as something the could be improved.

Additionally Kundra talked about the access and ease-of-use customers experience on private-sector hotel, airline and social networking sites is something the government may need to consider in order to achieve more streamlined online service for public inquiries.

Kundra’s comments came on the heels of President Obama’s April 27 executive order that tasks federal agencies to streamline more than 20,000 websites and to come up with a plan to improve online customer service. In the order, the president was clear that as technology moves forward, so should the level of commitment to the public.

“With advances in technology and service delivery systems in other sectors, the public's expectations of the government have continued to rise,” said Obama in the order. “The government must keep pace with and even exceed those expectations. Government must also address the need to improve its services, not only to individuals, but also to private and governmental entities to which the agency directly provides significant services.”

Streamlined and improved technology has been the focus of both Kundra and Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra, since both were appointed to their posts by Obama in 2009. The duo was recently honored by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) for their work and the particular attention paid to state issues when it comes to technology.


Miriam Jones is a former chief copy editor of Government Technology, Governing, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.