Kelly Plan for Mobile-Friendly Government Websites Passes First Hurdle
Washington, DC – Last week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (OGR) passed Congresswoman Kelly’s Connected Government Act (HR 2331). The bill will now move to the House floor for a vote.
“I’m extremely excited to see this common sense bill move forward to help more Americans connect with their government and government services,” said Kelly who serves as Ranking Member of the House IT Subcommittee. “In 2017, mobile-friendly websites are necessary, because one in ten Americans only uses a cellphone to access the Internet.”
The Connected Government Act, introduced in May, requires all future and re-designed government websites to be mobile-friendly. Currently, more than forty percent of government websites are inaccessible or difficult to use on a mobile device, according to an Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) report. In particular, the report criticizes key websites for government services including FASFA, the application for federal student aid and loans and the Federal Service Desk, the starting point for government grant applications and contract bids.
“If you’re a young person trying to get help paying for college but happen to live in a rural or very urban community and only have a cell phone, you can’t complete your FAFSA unless you go to a library or Internet café,” added Congresswoman Kelly. “Who wants to be sitting in a cafe with your tax forms and bank account information strewn around you?”
According to research conducted by Pew, one in ten Americans only access the Internet via a mobile device and 77 percent of Americans have smartphones. These mobile-only households are largely in rural, deep urban or underserved communities that still lack access to broadband Internet.
“I’d like to thank my colleagues for working with me on this bill, especially Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), the chairman of OGR’s Government Operations subcommittee and Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee Ranking Member, Frank Pallone (D-NJ). Without strong bipartisan support and support from the E&C Committee, we could never have moved this bill so quickly or efficiently,” added Congresswoman Kelly.
Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) have introduced the Senate companion to Congresswoman Kelly’s legislation.