In Executive Order 13571, issued on April 27, 2011, the President stated that, "with advances in technology and service delivery systems in other sectors, the public's expectations of the Government have continued to rise," and that the Government "must keep pace with and even exceed those expectations." In addition, the President made clear that the 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." This memorandum provides guidance for implementing that Executive Order.
Under the Order, agencies are directed to improve online services and eliminate wasteful spending. They must work to manage web resources more efficiently and assure that valuable content is readily accessible and available online. To date, the reform effort has:
- Instituted a freeze on the approval of new .gov domain names and developed stronger criteria for getting a new domain.
- Set up the .gov Reform Task Force to recommend updates to federal web guidelines and policies.
- Posted and updated a list of all registered .gov domain names on Data.gov.
- Asked agencies to identify sites that can be eliminated, consolidated, and/or streamlined.
- Conducted an inventory of federal domains and sites, a survey of federal web governance policies and a national dialogue on improving federal web sites, and used the data to create the State of the Federal Web Report.
- Required agencies to develop Web Improvement Plans (included in the State of the Federal Web Report).
- Worked with others across government to develop the Digital Government Strategy.
- FCC Encyclopedia, ".gov Reform Effort: Improving Federal Websites" (full-text).