printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Digital Government Strategy Report for the Department of State


November 12, 2013


2.1. Engage with customers to identify at least two existing major customer-facing services that contain high-value data or content as first-move candidates to make compliant with new open data, content, and web API policy.

Overall Status: completed

2.1.1. Paragraph on customer engagement approach

Paragraph on customer engagement approach: To meet the Digital Government Strategy deadline for proposed customer engagement, state.gov will include a custom question in its random, pop-up survey. The question will ask: Q: Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, allow for sharing data between applications. Content that is created in one place can be dynamically posted and updated in multiple locations on the web. What information from the U.S. State Department would you find useful for us to make available via web APIs?

2.1.2. Prioritized list of systems (datasets)

System Name: OPDS Catalog of Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)
System Description: Raw bibliographical metadata for the nearly 500 official historical documentary volumes of U.S. foreign policy in the Foreign Relations of the United States published since 1861.
System Scope: both
Main Customer: U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies, foreign governments
Unique Investment Identifier: 014-XXXXXXXXX--New Investment for FY 2014 Budget


System Name: aoprals.state.gov
System Description: Foreign Travel Per Diem rates
System Scope: both
Main Customer: U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies
Unique Investment Identifier: 014-XXXXXXXXX--New Investment for FY 2014 Budget


7.1. Engage with customers to identify at least two existing priority customer-facing services to optimize for mobile use.

Overall Status: completed

7.1.1. Paragraph on customer engagement approach

Paragraph on customer engagement approach: To meet the Digital Government Strategy deadline for proposed customer engagement, state.gov will include a custom question in its random, pop-up survey. The question will ask: Q: What U.S. State Department services would you like to suggest be optimized for mobile use?

7.1.2. Prioritized list of systems (datasets)

System Name: Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) E-books
System Description: Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series in a new e-book format that is readable on popular electronic devices. The e-book edition combines many of the benefits of print and web publications in a new form that is portable and extremely convenient.
System Scope: both
Main Customer: U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies, foreign governments
Unique Investment Identifier: 014-XXXXXXXXX--New Investment for FY 2014 Budget


System Name: DOS Careers
System Description: Mobile application designed as a recruitment tool to increase awareness among U.S. citizens about the Department and its Foreign Service career opportunities. Provides access to more than 500 FSOT questions from previous tests that test your knowledge of U.S. government and culture, world history, technology, economics and many other topics. Locate Recruitment event, or contact a Diplomat in Residence near user.
System Scope: external
Main Customer: U.S. citizens
Unique Investment Identifier: 014- 000000024 Investment FY 2014


4.2. Establish an agency-wide governance structure for developing and delivering digital services

Overall Status: completed
Paragraph on Governance: In order to meet the objectives outlined above, the Department’s Digital Governance Structure serves as the overarching governance that incorporates existing governance structures. The structure will be used to implement requirements in the form of mandates by the Federal CIO or requirements from the Department CIO.
URL to Governance Document: http://www.state.gov/digitalstrategy/

5.2. Develop an enterprise-wide inventory of mobile devices and wireless service contracts

Overall Status: completed

5.2.1. Develop wireless and mobile inventory

Bureau/Component: IRM/OPS/ENM/TWD
Inventory Status: completed


8.2. Implement performance and customer satisfaction measuring tools on all .gov websites

Overall Status: in-progress

8.2.1. Implement performance measurement tool

Implemented Digital Analytics Program: yes
If Not, Describe Implementation:
Percent of websites covered: 71%
URL of performance data: www.state.gov/digitalstrategy

8.2.2. Implement customer satisfaction tool

Describe Implementation: Foresee
URL of performance data: www.state.gov/digitalstrategy

1.2. Ensure all new IT systems follow the open data, content, and web API policy and operationalize agency.gov/developer pages

Overall Status: in-progress

1.2.1. Document policy for architecting new IT systems for openness by default

Describe policy: The Department will establish an open data policy that the bureaus could follow. The policy will be based on OMB guidance. Department-wide processes and information collections will be adopted and implemented, where possible. Additionally, the bureaus will follow a process to ensure API’s are placed on the www.state.gov/developer page. The Department of State uses an internal approval process for new websites utilizing the DS-3081 form. When the developer/content owner submits their request via the 3081, and depending on audience, PA, IIP, or IRM review/approve. For example, the bureaus owner for travel.state.gov will determine the best way to present public facing data via various platform delivery systems without having to repeatedly rebuild the information structure. The following attributes will be considered: 1. Determine what content users want most. 2. Write for the web in simple, plain language. 3. Format the content in a way that intuitively flows for the user. 4. Ensure legal requirements are met. 5. Ensure social media platforms are consistent with our audience’s expectations. 6. Join Department and Federal communities of practice to ensure efforts are not being duplicated and shared services and tools are being utilized. 7. Ensure there is a usable “search” function on our websites. 8. Syndicate content, via RSS feeds, API’s, and other new technology that allow third parties to publish our content.

1.2.4. Develop Data Inventory Schedule - Summary

Summarize the Inventory Schedule: Milestone 1 / Initial Delivery / November 30, 2013 Number of datasets: 113 Open Datasets: 99 Milestone 1 / 1st Quarterly Update / February 28, 2014 Datasets Expanded: 36 (149 total datasets) Datasets Enriched: 18 Datasets Open: 9 (108 total open datasets) Milestone 3 / 2nd Quarterly Update / May 31, 2014 Datasets Expanded: 72 (221 total datasets) Datasets Enriched: 18 Datasets Open: 9 (117 total open datasets) Milestone 4 / 3rd Quarterly Update / August 30, 2014 Datasets Expanded: 72 (293 total datasets) Datasets Enriched: 36 Datasets Open: 18 (126 total open datasets) Milestone 5 / 4th Quarterly Update / November 30, 2014 Datasets Expanded: 72 (365 total datasets) Datasets Enriched: 36 Datasets Open: 18 (144 total open datasets)

1.2.5. Develop Data Inventory Schedule - Milestones

Title: Initial Delivery
Description: The initial delivery of the Open Data Plan, the Schedule, the Enterprise Data Inventory and the Public Data Listing
Milestone Date: November 30, 2013
Description of how this milestone expands the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Number of datasets: 113
Description of how this milestone enriches the Inventory: N/A
Description of how this milestone opens the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Open Datasets: 99


Title: 1st Quarterly Update
Description: Update Open Data Plan, Schedule, Enterprise Data Inventory and Public Data Listing
Milestone Date: February 28, 2014
Description of how this milestone expands the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Datasets Expanded: 36 (149 total datasets)
Description of how this milestone enriches the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Datasets Enriched: 18
Description of how this milestone opens the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Datasets Open: 9 (108 total open datasets)


Title: 2nd Quarterly Update
Description: Update Open Data Plan, Schedule, Enterprise Data Inventory and Public Data Listing
Milestone Date: May 31, 2014
Description of how this milestone expands the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Number of datasets: 72 (221 total datasets)
Description of how this milestone enriches the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Datasets Enriched: 18
Description of how this milestone opens the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Open Datasets: 9 (117 total open datasets)


Title: 3rd Quarterly Update
Description: Update Open Data Plan, Schedule, Enterprise Data Inventory and Public Data Listing
Milestone Date: August 30, 2014
Description of how this milestone expands the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Number of datasets: 72 (293 total datasets)
Description of how this milestone enriches the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Datasets Enriched: 36
Description of how this milestone opens the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Open Datasets: 18 (126 total open datasets)


Title: 4th Quarterly Update
Description: Update Open Data Plan, Schedule, Enterprise Data Inventory and Public Data Listing
Milestone Date: November 30, 2014
Description of how this milestone expands the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Number of datasets: 72 (365 total datasets)
Description of how this milestone enriches the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Datasets Enriched: 36
Description of how this milestone opens the Inventory: See paragraph 1.2.7 Develop Data Publication Process, Open Datasets: 18 (144 total open datasets)


1.2.6. Develop Customer Feedback Process

Describe the agency's process to engage with customers: Identifying and engaging with key data customers to help determine the value of federal data assets can help agencies prioritize those of highest value for quickest release. Customers will be engaged through blog entries, email, forms on the www.State.gov/open web page, and other means as appropriate. Customers include public as well as government stakeholders. Internal customers will use blogs, email and Corridor (the Department social media site) to interact with data owners directly. The Department will evaluate public and private input and reflect on how to incorporate it into their data management practices. The Department will regularly review its evolving customer feedback and public engagement strategy and develop criteria for prioritizing the opening of data assets, accounting for factors such as the quantity and quality of user demand, internal management priorities, and agency mission relevance.

1.2.7. Develop Data Publication Process

Describe the agency's data publication process: The System Owner (new or existing system) will identify all key data sets that can be created and published. The System Owner captures the core metadata information about the data set in iMatrix. The extended metadata, like record layout or permissible values, are entered into the Enterprise Metadata Registry. When entering the metadata the System Owner consults with Data Steward about the correct categorization of the data: public, restricted public, or non-public. Legal will have the responsibility to make the final determination if the data can be open. The iMatrix system owner will designate a user that will perform the metadata extraction process on the EDI, and subsequently process the data into a JSON file. The JSON file will be published on the www.state.gov/data page. This process will be done periodically, and not less than quarterly at the start. Every quarter the Department will target specific bureaus/offices and IT systems within its portfolio to reach out and communicate the Open Data Policy and obtain the datasets that they are currently producing. The list of the datasets will be made available through the Enterprise Data Inventory. Once it is initially entered – the dataset owner will be responsible for the update and maintenance of the dataset and the associated metadata.

2.2. Make high-value data and content in at least two existing, major customer-facing systems available through web APIs, apply metadata tagging and publish a plan to transition additional high-value systems

Overall Status: completed

2.2.1. Publish plan on future activity

Describe policy: The Department’s strategy will be to establish a criteria for ranking websites (e.g., most used, most requested, highest number of hits, age of website, schedule for replacement, etc.), then develop a schedule for implementing the APIs based on the resources available. Additionally, the Department’s governance structure provides bureaus an opportunity to modernize existing systems to leverage web APIs. For example, Public Affairs (PA) bureau’s country fact sheets have long been among the most popular on state.gov, based on metrics and survey feedback. The daily public schedule is also popular, and was specifically mentioned by the public via the IdeaScale feedback forum on state.gov/open. PA will work to open these two families of content up first via web API as resources allow. Currently, Consular Affairs bureau (CA) has made high value public data available via Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. These feeds allow users to sign up to receive information as it is updated on a website. Specific CA feeds available are: Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information Sheets. These products can be evaluated for API development to make this information available for use by other public and commercial information providers. A pilot program to gather U.S. Citizen travel information from travel booking and travel organization sites into the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is also currently being evaluated as a potential API product.

2.2.2. Make 2+ systems (datasets) available via web APIs with metadata tags

Name of system: OPDS Catalog of Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)
Description of system: OPDS Catalog of Foreign Relations of the United States Series. This web API allows 3rd party web and application developers to integrate the live catalog into their products. It also lets end users manually add the catalog to applications that support the standard that our API is based on.
Scope of system: both
Main Customers: U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies, foreign governments
Unique Investment Identifier: 014-XXXXXXXXX--New Investment for FY 2014 Budget
API Link: http://history.state.gov/api/v1/catalog


Name of system: aoprals.state.gov
Description of system: Foreign Travel Per Diem rates
Scope of system: both
Main Customers: U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies
Unique Investment Identifier: 014-XXXXXXXXX--New Investment for FY 2014 Budget
API Link: https://explore.data.gov/developers/docs/foreign-per-diem-rates-by-location


5.3. Evaluate the government-wide contract vehicles in the alternatives analysis for all new mobile-related procurements

Overall Status: completed
Describe Implementation: The Department continues to use and save money through the 4 BPAs we have with the Wireless Vendors awarded through our contracting offices. Pricing is based on GSA Schedule 70. The Department takes advantage of pooled minutes and bundled plans based our customers’ needs. The Department recently conducted a top-to-bottom plan assessment using a company that conducts assessments as a business. We are implementing many of the recommended changes some as simple as removing international feature. We are two-thirds of the way through the changes and have saved the Department approximately $2.3 million dollars annually. The Department Wireless Office plans to continue to run a Plan and Device assessment cycle every 90 days.

6.3. Ensure all new digital services follow digital services and customer experience improvement guidelines

Overall Status: completed
Describe Implementation: The Department of State uses Google Analytics to provide site metrics. It also uses ForeSee, Webtrends, and “contact us” to gather feedback and metrics that inform development of content and services. Public Affairs maintain the Department’s official blog DipNote, which offers the opportunity for the public to discuss important foreign policy issues with senior Department officials. Administration bureau uses NetIQ monitoring enabled to gauge performance measurements. Human Resources (HR/REE) primary website, careers.state.gov is undergoing a redesign that will be responsive/flexible: this ensures that the careers site can accommodate a variety of browsers, screen resolutions, and operating systems. Consular Affairs is committed to meeting federal web technology standards and designing future content in modular sections, so upgrading one portion of web content will not affect other areas of web or mobile content.

7.2. Optimize at least two existing priority customer-facing services for mobile use and publish a plan for improving additional existing services

Overall Status: completed
Describe Implementation: The Department’s governance structure provides bureaus an opportunity to modernize existing systems for mobile optimization. For example, Public Affairs began to explore a move from its 12-year-old proprietary Content Management System (CMS) to open source (Drupal) in late 2012. Launch of one small segment of content is on track for spring 2013. Lessons learned from that initial foray will be applied to another small section of content. Because transition of full main www.state.gov will take the longest time and most resources, our goal is to do that last, with an expected completion of fall 2015 and as resources permit. By moving to Drupal, we expect to build for mobile optimization at the same time. In the meantime, a redesign of our mobile site at m.state.gov has been sketched out to include responsive design/mobile optimization and additional enhancements in 2013 as resources permit. Human Resources (HR/REE) is currently undergoing site redesign that will be responsive/flexible: allowing full access to the careers website no matter the type of mobile device, operating system, screen size, etc. This will replace the current mobile version (m.careers.state.gov) which only contains basic information and mobile access to the careers forums. Consular Affairs will ensure that new contracts for the redevelopment or design of www.travel.state.gov will include a mobile component, with a focus on responsive design (where the information on the screen automatically detects the type of device accessing the website and scales content accordingly) and mobile-friendly platforms. Bureau of Administration will examine the usage metrics; the highest priority website will be changed to support multiple rendering formats.

7.2.1. Report on services

Service Name: Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) E-books
Service Description: Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series in a new e-book format that is readable on popular electronic devices. The e-book edition combines many of the benefits of print and web publications in a new form that is portable and extremely convenient.
System Scope: both
Primary customers: U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies, foreign governments
Unique Investment Identifier: 014-XXXXXXXXX--New Investment for FY 2014 Budget
URL of service: http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/ebooks


Service Name: DOS Careers
Service Description: Mobile application designed as a recruitment tool to increase awareness among U.S. citizens about the Department and its Foreign Service career opportunities. Provides access to more than 500 FSOT questions from previous tests that test your knowledge of U.S. government and culture, world history, technology, economics and many other topics. Locate Recruitment event, or contact a Diplomat in Residence near user.
System Scope: external
Primary customers: U.S. citizens
Unique Investment Identifier: 014- 000000024 Investment FY 2014
URL of service: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/doscareers/id580287301?mt=8


Service Name: Educational and Cultural Affairs Website
Service Description: The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' (ECA) mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations. Website includes responsive design (where the information on the screen automatically detects the type of device accessing the website and scales content accordingly).
System Scope: external
Primary customers: U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies, foreign citizens
Unique Investment Identifier: 014- 000000052 INV - Bureau IT Support
URL of service: http://www.eca.state.gov/


Service Name: Exchange Programs
Service Description: The Department of State sponsors multiple programs for educational, cultural, and professional exchanges across the world. Website includes responsive design (where the information on the screen automatically detects the type of device accessing the website and scales content accordingly).
System Scope: external
Primary customers: U.S. citizens, foreign citizens
Unique Investment Identifier: 014- 000000052 INV - ECA Program Management and Outreach System
URL of service: http://www.exchanges.state.gov/


Service Name: International Exchange Alumni
Service Description: International Exchange Alumni is a dynamic and interactive networking website for all past and current participants of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs. Website includes responsive design (where the information on the screen automatically detects the type of device accessing the website and scales content accordingly).
System Scope: external
Primary customers: U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies, foreign citizens
Unique Investment Identifier: 014- 000000052 INV - ECA Program Management and Outreach System
URL of service: https://www.alumni.state.gov/


Service Name: State Reader
Service Description: Foreign policy insight in the palm of your hand. The newest app from the U.S. State Department puts the latest in foreign policy news and video at your fingertips. This app features entries from the State Department Blog, "Dipnote" and photographs and news from around the world. Watch video of Secretary, watch the U.S. State Department's Daily Press Briefing on your iPhone or television via wireless streaming technology.
System Scope: both
Primary customers: U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies, foreign governments, foreign citizens
Unique Investment Identifier: 014- 000000049 INV - Enterprise Planning, Management and Architecture
URL of service: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/state-reader/id458115590?mt=8


Service Name: State Magazine
Service Description: For more than 60 years, State Magazine has told the stories of the people, places and events of the Department of State. Each month’s digital issue includes the current print edition, plus additional photos, videos and live stories.
System Scope: both
Primary customers: U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies, foreign governments, foreign citizens
Unique Investment Identifier: 014- 000000049 INV - Enterprise Planning, Management and Architecture
URL of service: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/state-magazine/id388460517?mt=8


Service Name: Smart Traveler
Service Description: Smart Traveler, the official State Department app for U.S. travelers. This app contains official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, U.S. embassy locations, and more. Smart Traveler also provides access to the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
System Scope: both
Primary customers: U.S. citizens, civil society organizations, the Congress, U.S. Government agencies, foreign citizens
Unique Investment Identifier: 014- 000000054 INV - Bureau IT Support
URL of service: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smart-traveler/id442693988?mt=8



Back to Top
Sign-in

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.