Issues relating to government use of IT.

50 Ideas for More Accessible Elections

October 31, 2012
| Reports

This report highlights fifty ideas, both big and small, to improve the accessibility of elections. Some of these ideas have already been implemented in a few elections and represent emerging best practices; others are still in the early design phase. These ideas can help spur others to continue to innovate and pursue new ways of making elections more accessible for all Americans.

ITIF Releases “50 Ideas to Make Voting More Accessible”

WASHINGTON (October 31, 2012) - The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) today released a report detailing fifty actionable ideas to make voting more accessible for all Americans, including voters with disabilities. Read more »

Rob Atkinson on Federal News Radio "In Depth"

October 26, 2012
It's important to change the federal government to innovate.

Rob Atkinson on Federal News Radio's In Depth talks about the need to innovate in the federal government based on an op-ed he wrote for NextGov.

GSA's Innovation Aspirations

GSA also has offices dealing with government wide policy and citizen services. The agency is built for bureaucracy, he said. It needs to break down its own walls—which will be a radical change that tests the agency’s fortitude, he said.

Regulations Are Killing Innovation in Government

October 16, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

While it might make sense to retain some rules, such as those to protect whistleblowers, many of the regulations seem unnecessary. Some regulations are thinly-veiled attempts to set social policy. Why should government have a different policy than the private sector? And notably, many of the rules are designed to benefit specific groups, such as small business, women, minorities or veterans, which increases federal costs. This may be a sledgehammer when what we need is a scalpel. Or maybe acquisition rules, civil service protections and other regulations have grown too unwieldy for the knife and only radical surgery can restore effectiveness. Either way, given the huge costs involved, policymakers should give more thought to creating a more flexible government bureaucracy.

Winning the Race 2012 Memos

September 5, 2012
| Reports

As the 2012 presidential campaign moves in the final stage, ITIF is presenting general principles and specific recommendation ideas across several policy areas we believe the next President and Congress should adopt to restore U.S. global competiveness and prosperity.

As chronicled in Innovation Economic: The Race for Global Advantage, the United States is losing its once formidable edge as an innovator. Many other nations are putting in place better tax, talent, technology and trade policies, and reaping the rewards in terms of faster growth, more jobs, and faster income growth. It’s not too late for the United States to regain its lead but it will need to act boldly and with resolve.

Week by week until the November election, the Winning the Race series will put forward creative yet pragmatic ideas in policies affecting taxes, trade, education, broadband, the digital economy, clean energy, science and technology and other areas. Taken as a whole, the series represents a new Innovation Consensus to replace the outdated Washington Consensus.

Memo One (September 3, 2012): Boosting Innovation, Competitiveness, and Productivity

Memo Two (September 10, 2012): Trade and Globalization

Memo Three (September 17, 2012): Corporate Tax

Memo Four (September 24, 2012): Digital Communication Networks

Memo Five (October 1, 2012): Traded Sector Industries

Memo Six (October 9, 2012): Digital Economy

Memo Seven (October 15, 2012): STEM Skills

Memo Eight (October 22, 2012): Clean Energy

Memo Nine (October 29, 2012): Science and Technology

Memo Ten (November 5, 2012): Overcoming the Barriers 

Complete List of Policy Recommendations: Top Policy Recommendations for the Obama Administration to Help the United States Win the Race for Global Advantage

The Social Security Administration estimated that eliminating paper statements would save the government approximately $70 million.

Government policy should "nudge digital" to promote more-efficient choices, such as by making electronic statements the default option. The Social Security Administration recently adopted this policy when it eliminated the annual mailing of Social Security statements to all workers over the age of 25. The Social Security Administration Commissioner Michael Astrue estimated that by eliminating these statements the government would save approximately $70 million in printing and mailing costs. Instead, individuals can now access these statements online.

The Importance of Absentee Voting for Accessible Elections

May 21, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

States should provide electronic ballot delivery to all voters. Electronic ballot delivery allows voters to use a computer to download, complete and print their absentee ballots. The voter then mails in these ballots just like current absentee ballots. There are two main benefits of electronic delivery: first, it eliminates the costs of mailing out ballots to voters; and second, it allows individuals with disabilities to use the assistive technology on their computers to complete the ballot. Voters do not send completed ballots over the Internet, so the security risks are no greater than other vote-by-mail systems. Moreover, this option is already available for military and overseas voters in many states so it would be relatively easy to extend it to all voters.

Create a Virtual Panopticon to Cut Wasteful Government Spending

April 17, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

Recent scandals involving the use of federal funds reveal how helpful technology could be in averting these severe situations. While it should not be a replacement for the good work of the inspector generals at government agencies, who may be more adept at spotting problems and failures to adhere to regulations, using technology may increase transparency and accountability and help ensure that federal funds are used more appropriately.

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