District of Columbia Acting Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Rob Mancini announced that the District has expanded the avenues available to residents, businesses and visitors for requesting city services and reporting non-emergency problems online. Now a citizen who spots a problem can report it instantly to the city’s 311 non-emergency service center using a web-enabled or mobile device.
The District is offering the new functionality through a new integration between the city’s 311 Customer Request and Work Order system and SeeClickFix. SeeClickFix is a free mobile and web platform that allows citizens to submit online reports of non-emergency public problems to governments. The SeeClickFix platform is available in many locations and formats, including mobile phones and widgets on the Washington Post and other city blogs. Citizens can access SeeClickFix at SeeClickFix.com, The Washington Post, Greater Greater Washington, and The City Fix.
Now, when a citizen reports a problem on SeeClickFix, the new integration function will automatically create a report and service request in the District’s 311 system. For example, a citizen who spots a pothole, graffiti, bulk trash or a downed tree can use a mobile device to snap a photo with the GPS location or address and submit it to SeeClickFix. In less than 30 seconds, the problem can be on its way to resolution. When the status of a service request is updated, the District’s 311 system generates an automatic alert to the requester and citizens tracking the issue.
The SeeClickFix integration also allows District residents to comment on problems and service requests posted by others, vote to fix specific problems, and even create “watch areas” to keep tabs on a particular location in the city.
Overall, the integration of SeeClickFix with the District’s 311 system ensures a seamless flow of information between residents and District officials, and a more efficient way of fixing problems throughout the city.
SeeClickFix connects to the 311 system through the District’s Open311 API. API (application programming interface) is a free, open web standard now used by many US companies and governments to help customers interact with their data and services. In June 2009, the District became the first city in the world to launch an Open 311 API.
Open 311 lets citizens take the reins in dispatching the city services they want. It answers the common complaint that citizens’ concerns get buried in government bureaucracy.
“With Open 311, we’re improving city services and bringing government closer to the people,” said District Acting CTO Mancini. “Our integration with SeeClickFix creates a dynamic new partnership between government and citizens to solve problems that affect us all.”