VA is undertaking efforts to ensure that new IT systems promote interoperablity, accessibility, and openness. It is implementing new governance bodies to facilitate growth and management of mobile applications; and to manage the full lifecycle of mobile apps, applicaton programming interfaces (APIs), and web services. It is improving its data collection and management processes to reduce redundancy of efforts as well as the number of data repositories. VA regularly offers VA information and datasets on data.gov. Currently, more than 470 datasets from VA reside on data.gov for public use. A recent contribution was more than 50 datasets for Veterans' gravesite locations in the 50 states and U.S. territories, with a coinciding release of an API (the Nationwide Gravesite Locations API) on VA's developer hub.
In response to the Federal Digital Government Strategy, VA has, in 2012-13, released several mobile applications and application programming interfaces, and launched the va.gov/developer website, a hub for sharing resources with intra- and inter-agency developers as well as the general public. VA has dozens of mobile applications in various states of production (planning, development, pilot testing, and promotion), to provide fast, efficient delivery of services to Veterans, their Caregivers, physicians, the VA workforce, and the American public. VA's 508 Compliance Office promotes efforts to provide accessibility for all VA digital services. VA's customer service plan supports improvements to delivery of services to Veterans and other external customers as well as the VA workforce. Initiatives like Mobile Blue Button and My MeatheVet focus on providing Veterans the tools they need for reading, using, and sharing personal health information with their providers and others they trust. These and other VA efforts streamline agency processes to reduce costs and accelerate delivery.
To measure the effectiveness of public engagement, VA has implemented web performance and customer satisfaction metrics tools. VA uses the government-wide Digital Analytics Program (DAP) tool to monitor web performance. For customer satisfaction metrics, VA uses the tool Foresee. The data collected from these tools is shared within VA and with other federal agencies. This approach will provide VA with feedback for improvements to customer websites, and the services VA is delivering; resulting improvements in the efficiency of service delivery should also provide a better return on investment.
In May 2013, OMB released the Federal Open Data Policy. These guidelines will be disseminated throughout VA; and VA's response to the new policy will be reported on this website in accordance with OMB deadlines.