Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is co-founder and CEO of ProudCity, and the founder of GovFresh. He advises civic leaders and businesses on how to best leverage digital strategies to create more effective, collaborative governments. He has written about government IT for Federal Computer Week, NextGov, FedScoop, StateScoop and FierceGovernment, and has been referenced by the Washington Post and Fast Company on civic technology issues. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Kickstarter campaign for city design method cards

GreaterPlaces is holding a fundraiser for city design method cards and a mobile app that “brings all aspects of city design together in one resource designed for everyone.”

California seeks CIOs

Of significant importance is the state CIO opening, and its convergence with evolving talk of establishing a government digital service team, much like what has been done in the United Kingdom and here in the United States with the U.S. Digital Service and 18F.

U.S. government releases federal open source policy

The White House has published a federal source code policy that requires custom code paid for by the U.S. government be made available to all federal agencies, and a portion be released to the public.

GovReady wins $1.1M DHS contract to make security more open

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it has awarded startup GovReady a $1.1M certification and accreditation contract that will be critical to bringing an open source approach to security.

Feds want to build better digital ‘front doors’ to government

Borrowing from Code for America’s Digital Front Door project, the federal government is riffing on the concept so that it can better assist those seeking government services.

Insights from federal digital design leaders

Ethan Marcotte and Karen McGrane have been on a roll lately featuring federal government design leaders on their Responsive Web Design Podcast.

Beta government

The beta period has eliminated the fear associated with the a big launch. Knowing that beta is the beginning of a collaborative process eases that fear and creates a feedback culture that is much-needed in digital government innovation.

Say hello to ProudCity

Today, I’m excited to announce a new civic startup, ProudCity, founded by me and three others, committed to making it easier for cities to stand up and manage municipal digital services.

4 ways the federal government can improve plainlanguage.gov

Managed by the Federal Aviation Administration, plainlanguage.gov, the federal government website tasked with helping agencies write better for those it serves needs renewed attention. While momentum on better government digital services is in full-swing, it’s time to re-invent how plain language is presented.

How to build a lean startup inside government

Leaders from 18F and the White House Presidential Innovation Fellowship program presented at the 2015 Lean Startup Conference on “Lean Methodologies When the Organization is the Product,” and this is the best video you’ll watch on getting a holistic approach to building a lean startup inside government.

How you can follow and discuss government technology news using HashtagGov

I’ve been using Slack for a while now to follow government and civic technology news and, while it’s mostly a tool for team communications, the integrations features make it a great way to manage and digest a lot of information.

Thank you

Every day I get to engage with entrepreneurs, public sector innovators and journalists on re-imagining and re-energizing how government works, what it means to be “civic,” and this year has been an incredible one for many friends and colleagues.

Funding government technology

I’m always inspired talking and working with entrepreneurs trying to solve big civic problems, especially those who realize much of the challenge lies within modernizing and empowering internal government operations, so it was great to finally meet with Govtech Fund Founder and Managing Partner Ron Bouganim this week.

Government and the ’empowered product owner’

The 18F Delivery team released a “Partnership Playbook” that aims to help federal agencies understand what to expect when working with 18F, and the gem within is play number two, “We work with an empowered product owner.”

9 reasons why Vets.gov is the future of federal government websites

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released a beta version of Vets.gov, and it’s the future of federal government digital development.

Why local government must go digital

The Welsh Government released a report of its findings on how local government in Wales can better leverage digital technologies and realize significant savings while still providing quality, scalable citizen services.

California commission wants the state to design a better government

A California bipartisan oversight committee, the Little Hoover Commission, has issued recommendations on how the state can bring a more customer-centric government to residents and visitors.

Romulus wants to make constituent relationship management more delightful

Seneca Systems CEO Chris Maddox shares the inspiration behind the new constituent relationship management system, Romulus.

‘No ugly, old IT.’

“No ugly, old IT” jumped out at me when I first reviewed DataSF’s strategic plan, “Data in San Francisco: Meeting supply, spurring demand,” and it still sticks, mostly because someone inside government was so bold as to make this a priority and openly communicate it and also because this should be a mantra for everyone building civic technology.

Why Cloud.gov is a big deal

Enabling internal government tech shops to quickly stand up applications in a secure testing environment is fundamental to quick prototyping, and 18F’s new Cloud.gov is a major step in realizing ultimate IT flexibility.

FCC launches beta FCC.gov

Based on “extensive user research,” the Federal Communications Commission has launched a beta version of fcc.gov that aims to make the site “more useful and accessible to FCC stakeholders.”

Oakland seeks chief information officer

Oakland is looking for its next chief information officer to help position the city “at the forefront of American cities in its use of technology.”

Elon Musk as government innovator

After reading Ashlee Vance’s new Elon Musk biography, I find myself wondering whether we should really worry about bad government websites, and instead chalk them up as inspiration for those who will change the world.

USDS publishes design standards for federal government websites

The U.S. Digital Service has soft-launched new U.S. Web Design Standards to “create consistency and beautiful user experiences across U.S. federal government websites.”

Thank you, Jake

There have been countless, beautiful anecdotes on Jake’s compassion, humility and contributions, and there’s nothing I can add that would do justice to honor the influence he’s had on me other than to say, Jake, I miss you so much, and you will be with me always as I try to live up to the standards you set for those of us still here.

Retrospecting agile government

Last week, I was in New Orleans for the CivicActions corporate retreat, and presented to the team on the work done around Agile Government Leadership, and I wanted to share some of this here because, while there’s still much to do around changing government project management practices, we’ve accomplished a great deal over the past 18 months since its inception.

What should governments require for their open data portals?

My fundamental suggestion is that government-run open data platforms be fully open source. There are a number of technical and procurement reasons for this, which I will address in the future, but I believe strongly that if the platform you’re hosting data on doesn’t adhere to the same licensing standards you hold for your data, you’re only doing open data half right.

Take the 2015 Agile Government Survey

Agile Government Leadership wants to learn more about the state of agile project management in government, its challenges and successes, and how AGL can better support the community.

California launches innovation contests to improve government operations

The state of California has launched a $25K Find a New Way innovation contest that gives residents a chance “to identify areas of improvement within the state government and share their untapped expertise to create solutions.”

7 books for better digital government

Continuing on my book cleaning spree, I wanted to highlight a few web product design and development books I’m getting rid of that are helpful for anyone focused on providing government digital services.