With e-gov fund cuts, will citizen-developed apps discontinue?

Three years ago, D.C. launched the Apps for Democracy contest – a private-public partnership to encourage citizens to develop apps that took advantage of the District’s open data catalogue.

The contest had two rules – Use DC.gov data and make the app open source. The District offered a $35,000 in cash prizes and received 47 apps worth an estimated $2.3 million in cost avoidance.

But just a few years after the launch, the contest has ended and some of the apps developed through past contests are discontinued in part or full because of the inability to maintain the data, reports Government Technology.

A similar problem could arise in the federal space as cuts to the e-government fund threaten open gov sites such as Data.gov and USASpending.gov. Congress passed a six-month bill last month that funds e-gov sites with $8 million, compared with the $34 million for fiscal year 2010.


Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra (who is also former D.C. chief technology officer who launched Apps for Democracy) said last month that the Obama administration is still assessing how to prioritize open gov initiatives with the $8 million.