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In Brief

Obama Calls for Tech Expertise in Government

Barack Obama official portrait
President Barack Obama (Image credit: public domain)

President Barack Obama today (July 8) described efforts to use technology to make the government smarter and more efficient. These efforts include making government data available online to the public, bringing people with tech expertise into government, and eliminating bureaucracy. Obama said these initiatives will make government smarter and more accountable.

"We've made some good progress on all fronts, but now we need to do more," Obama said in a statement today at the White House.

Now, people can visit the site Whitehouse.gov to see their taxpayer receipt, he said. Or they can search through tens of thousands of datasets on Data.gov, on anything from the cost of hospital procedures to climate information. The president mentioned hiring new cabinet members and "presidential innovation fellows" — Americans with private sector technology expertise. Obama discussed efforts to update government websites and forms to make them more user-friendly. He called on innovators and entrepreneurs to serve the government, saying, "We've got to have the brightest minds to solve our [nation's] challenges." 

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Tanya Lewis
Tanya was a staff writer for Live Science from 2013 to 2015, covering a wide array of topics, ranging from neuroscience to robotics to strange/cute animals. She received a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a bachelor of science in biomedical engineering from Brown University. She has previously written for Science News, Wired, The Santa Cruz Sentinel, the radio show Big Picture Science and other places. Tanya has lived on a tropical island, witnessed volcanic eruptions and flown in zero gravity (without losing her lunch!). To find out what her latest project is, you can visit her website.