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house Bill H.R. 2331

Should New or Updated Federal Websites be Mobile Friendly?

Argument in favor

Many people rely on smartphones when they’re on the go in their daily lives, so it makes sense for federal agencies that create or update a website intended for public use to ensure it’s mobile friendly.

kharahouse's Opinion
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11/12/2017
This is a bipartisan piece of legislation that simply codifies an existing 2016 memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget that has been ignored by many government-sponsored and/or developed sites, including sites like FASFA. 77% of Americans own, and use, smart phones; 10% of Americans ONLY use smart phones and other mobile devices to access the internet. Of the almost 3bil (2.63) visits to government sites in the past 90 days, almost 40% (38.5) came from mobile devices; add in the number of tablet visits (6%), you have relatively equal numbers of people using mobile over desktop/laptop devices. It may seem like a silly or self-explanatory piece of legislation, but it's also intended to effectively force the hand of the more than 30% of popular federal agency websites that continue to ignore federal guidance and fail mobile access tests to the detriment of United States citizens.
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Whitney's Opinion
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11/12/2017
Many people only have access to internet through their phones. We need to make sure that government information is readily accessible to all people.
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Brian's Opinion
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11/12/2017
It’s the 21st century, OF COURSE this should be a thing. It’s crazy we even have to vote on shit like this. Why is it even a question?
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Argument opposed

Federal agencies shouldn’t be expected to optimize their websites for viewing on mobile devices. Besides, a person could still use an actual computer if a site’s hard to navigate on a smartphone.

thejimmay's Opinion
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11/12/2017
Although a good idea in principle, you know when the government contracts programmers to develop anything, its grossly overpriced and of subpar quality. Look at the healthcare.gov debacle.
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JDMA's Opinion
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11/12/2017
No, this is an executive order if that. This is micro management at it’s finest. Why are we wasting time on this when more pressing bills are on the floor?
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David's Opinion
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11/15/2017
Yes,agencies should make their services mobile friendly but it should not be federal law. Having worked in Federal IT, I encountered many old provisions written in the 90’s that hinder agencies from providing better IT services to the public. It’s the right goal but the wrong approach to get there.
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bill Progress


  • EnactedJanuary 10th, 2018
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed December 21st, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
  • The house Passed November 15th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 422 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedMay 3rd, 2017

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What is House Bill H.R. 2331?

This bill would require federal agencies that create or update a website intended for use by the public to ensure that the website is mobile friendly. “Mobile friendly” would mean that the website is configured in such a way that it can be easily navigated and viewed when on a smartphone, tablet computer, or similar mobile device. In effect, this would implement an Office of Management and Budget memorandum of understanding for agencies from November 2016.

Impact

People accessing federal agencies’ websites; and federal agencies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2331

$0.00
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have no significant effect on the federal budget.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) introduced this bill to require all future and re-designed government websites to be mobile friendly:

“In 2017, it’s unreasonable that one in ten Americans cannot connect with their government because they only use mobile devices. This bill is a common sense fix that brings government websites into the 21st century. No business or organization would build a website without mobile optimization, why should the government?”

This legislation passed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on a voice vote and has the support of two cosponsors in the House, including one Democrat and one Republican.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: kasinv / iStock)

AKA

Connected Government Act

Official Title

To require a new or updated Federal website that is intended for use by the public to be mobile friendly, and for other purposes.

    This is a bipartisan piece of legislation that simply codifies an existing 2016 memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget that has been ignored by many government-sponsored and/or developed sites, including sites like FASFA. 77% of Americans own, and use, smart phones; 10% of Americans ONLY use smart phones and other mobile devices to access the internet. Of the almost 3bil (2.63) visits to government sites in the past 90 days, almost 40% (38.5) came from mobile devices; add in the number of tablet visits (6%), you have relatively equal numbers of people using mobile over desktop/laptop devices. It may seem like a silly or self-explanatory piece of legislation, but it's also intended to effectively force the hand of the more than 30% of popular federal agency websites that continue to ignore federal guidance and fail mobile access tests to the detriment of United States citizens.
    Like (171)
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    Although a good idea in principle, you know when the government contracts programmers to develop anything, its grossly overpriced and of subpar quality. Look at the healthcare.gov debacle.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Many people only have access to internet through their phones. We need to make sure that government information is readily accessible to all people.
    Like (50)
    Follow
    Share
    It’s the 21st century, OF COURSE this should be a thing. It’s crazy we even have to vote on shit like this. Why is it even a question?
    Like (32)
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    Many people only have access to internet on their smartphones. It only makes sense to ensure federal website are accessible on mobile websites.
    Like (20)
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    All government websites should be mobile friendly and easy to understand.
    Like (16)
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    Access to information and data should always include least amount of barriers as possible. A functional democracy requires a educated and informed populace.
    Like (14)
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    This is the format that most digital content is consumed on so it stands to reason that the Federal Government’s digital presence should be made readily available to all Americans on the most popular digital platforms.
    Like (9)
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    No, this is an executive order if that. This is micro management at it’s finest. Why are we wasting time on this when more pressing bills are on the floor?
    Like (8)
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    It's 2017 and mobile-first design is considered a best practice in website design and development. It's been estimated that 56 percent of mobile users drive website traffic now and for some people, their phones are their only way to access the internet. By not developing government websites for mobile-use (not to mention improving website security), our government is loosing a lot of opportunity to provide more information to users and failing US citizens as a whole.
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    Of course they should. It's no secret that our government always seems to be behind the times technically. And it shouldn't cost billions to update like the Obama care website. But people are using other devices more and more. Soon tablets will be our computers. The government should function on all devices.
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    Mobile friendly and accessible websites would ensure access to the people. Just sayin’!
    Like (4)
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    Most web traffic today (56%) comes from mobile devices, so yes: This is a no brainer.
    Like (4)
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    This seems like a no brainer. The only reason I can think of not to do this would be if I was interested in making it more difficult for certain demographic groups who may not have a desktop PC or home internet to stay engaged with their government.
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    Easy access for all. This is a no-brainer.
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    Being able to access federal website easily should be something that a country as technologically advanced as the US must provide
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    Many American families only have access to the internet through devices like smartphones and tablets. I think this would greatly improve access for lower income families.
    Like (3)
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    Seriously! Having a mobile user friendly websites is up for debate?...they should honestly already exist.
    Like (3)
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    Many Americans don’t have readily access to a desktop/laptop computer and use mobile devices only for internet access.
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    I know the federal government is behind the rest of the world in internet capability, but good grief. Some people don’t even have a computer anymore. They depend on a mobile for all their internet work.
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