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Top 5 GovLaunches of 2011

Top 5 GovLaunches of 2011

1.) GovLaunch - Furloughed Feds Facebook Page

Back in April, with the fear of a government shutdown, a few passionate government workers took to Facebook to create a page for those fearful of government furloughs. The group’s description states: “If you are like the founders of this group, you are a federal employee proud to serve our national government and country. So while locked out of our jobs, let's serve our local communities.”

In April, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs launch of a post-traumatic stress disorder application became big news in 2011. The app, called PTSD Coach, features resources to help you learn more about what PTSD is, information on where to find professional care, self-assessment tools, and plenty of opportunities to find support.

At the beginning of 2011, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers negotiated with Facebook to modify terms of use for state and local government pages on the social media site. The terms and conditions that were changed were: Strike the indemnity clause except to the extent indemnity is allowed by a state’s constitution or law; Strike language requiring that legal disputes be venued in California courts and adjudicated under California law; Require that a public agency include language directing consumers to its official Web site prominently on any Facebook page; and, Encourage amicable resolution between public entities and Facebook over any disputes.

In May, the Harvard Kennedy School released its annual report of top 25 government innovations. The list highlights legislation, new departments, new projects, or new positions in state government that have helped state governments better perform for the public.

On Tax Day in 2011, GovLoop decided to highlight some of the IRS’s newest tools to help you file more efficiently. The standouts were the IRS2Go App, which allows filers to check their refund status, get tax updates, or follow the IRS on social networking sites. Simple how-to videos on YouTube were also showcased as a way to take some of the questioning out of the filing process.

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