From mobile apps to testbeds on wheels, creative thinkers at government agencies are finding ways to better serve the public.
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This is the year that the Internal Revenue Service, after more than 50 years of processing tax returns on a weekly schedule, began processing them daily.
The agency's Customer Account Data Engine 2 (CADE 2) system began operating in January, just in time for the 2012 tax-filing season. By early April, CADE 2 had processed more than 1.8 billion transactions and issued 83 million refunds totaling $229 billion. At the core of the system is a relational database that balanced "to the penny" with the agency's master file.
The IRS acted as its own system integrator on the four-year project. Taxpayers now receive refunds faster. And taxpayer information is updated more quickly, which translates into better customer service, including the handling of potential identity theft.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.