Rapid advances in technology and widespread consumer adoption have dramatically changed our expectations of government. The problem is agencies aren’t living up to those expectations. In April, Government Business Council, Government Executive Media Group’s research arm, surveyed 395 federal employees to better understand the federal government’s technology landscape. They found that two-thirds lack confidence in the technology that underpins their public service missions.
Which of these pose a significant challenge to your agency's ability to digitally optimize its public services?
"I came from the private sector expecting to make significant changes quickly only to find roadblocks set up by the federal governance office," says one respondent, who notes "the procurement process is extremely slow."
Federal agencies should recruit private sector experts to advise digital service reforms.
The digital tools my agency uses to serve the public are outdated.
"We need a dramatic infusion of talented people across agencies (not just in IT) to improve how we work and the ways that we engage with citizens and stakeholders," says one respondent.
How confident are you in your department's ability to_______?
A) Recruit IT Talent
B) Improve digital services without outside support
C) Rapidly procure new IT products and services
Respondents are generally pessimistic about the ability of their agencies to recruit top people and quickly buy products and services in a rapidly evolving IT landscape.
How familiar are you with the following initiatives_________?
B) U.S. Digital Service
C) Your agency's digital service team
Methodology: GBC released an email-based survey on April 29 to a random sample of Government Executive, Nextgov, and Defense One print and online subscribers. 395 federal employees completed the survey, including those at the GS/GM-11 to 15 grade levels and members of the Senior Executive Service. 57% of respondents are GS/GM-13s and above. Respondents include representatives from at least 30 different departments and agencies, including each of the military service branches. 79% are non-DOD federal employees and 18% are DOD civilians. The margin of error is +/- 4.9 percentage points for the survey’s population.