Vivek Kundra made his last appearance before Congress as federal chief information officer and came with a top-10 list. But this was no David Letterman skit. He presented a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee with a roster of key principles he’s learned about data transparency and information management.
“These 10 principles are grounded in the work we’ve done and the hard lessons we’ve learned,” he told the committee.
Build end-to-end digital systems to reduce errors and protect the integrity of the data across the federal enterprise.
“Build once, use often.” There are more than 12,000 federal IT systems across the government and thousands of databases. That unduly complicates the federal government’s IT systems, Kundra said.
Tap into “golden sources of data,” rather than older, recycled data.
Release data in machine-readable format and encourage third-party applications. “Washington doesn’t have a monopoly on the best ideas, and we’ve seen what happens when you democratize data,” Kundra said.
Employ common data standards.
Use simple, upfront data validations.
Release data as close to real-time as possible.
Engineer systems to reduce burdens.
Protect privacy and security. “This is critical especially in the age of Facebook and Twitter,” Kundra added.
Provide equal access to data and incorporate user feedback.