USDS, 18F and GDS: Building partnerships in government - video transcript

Haley Van Dyck, Deputy Administrator, United States Digital Service

One of the most interesting things to watch with the way that you guys have grown, kind of in comparison to where we’re starting, is the agency interactions between GDS and the agencies and between USDS and the agencies. I think it’s been fascinating to watch where you guys have generated the mandate and the ability to work with those agencies from, which is sort of polar opposite from where we were starting. I’ve really enjoyed learning from your team and seeing how that’s played out for you all, in comparison to what we’re doing. Because I think that starting point is pretty much the only difference in the models.

Mikey Dickerson, Administrator, United States Digital Service

Mike said something that was real surprising, unless I misheard it, in which case I guess we’re about to find out. But he said something along the lines of they went into publishing in GOV.UK very early on, that was less contentious to get a hold of. We feel like that would have been precisely the opposite experience in the US government.

Mike Bracken, Executive Director of Digital, Government Digital Service

Your relationship with agencies is interesting, and you’ve also got the state level in your system, which we don’t have. We’ve hired… I don’t know the final number. At leadership level, we’ve hired over 140 digital and technology leaders who were senior executives and put them in agencies.

Don’t forget we had, in a federated cabinet system of government, which you don’t have, we had a very strong and interventionist minister. You then follow that with the back of going in with IT controls, and then you go in with, for the third time round, on transactions. After two years, you know every part of the organisation. By the time that you’ve done that, you’ve become less of a challenge and more of a partner to rely on.