Government uses GitHub in two ways: for public engagement and for internal collaboration.
GitHub provides government with a forum to get feedback from their end users, to publish data in a free, lightweight way, and to hear from the data's end users what works, what doesn't and what other data they'd like to see. Rather than investing in purpose-built tools, agencies can post data to a GitHub repository as a static file, to put it in the hand of developers, and then to make a better-informed investment decision.
Additionally, GitHub facilitates internal collaboration, and can be especially useful for open source, open data, and open government efforts.
Why they won
GitHub has transformed the way developers around the world work together on complex projects. The largest source code repository in the world, with over 27 million projects, is helping over 11 million developers build better software, together. Github is already used by over 1,500 government organizations and over 30,000 government employees across the United States and around the world.
And yes, GitHub can be used for collaboration on other types of documents besides code. It’s been used by authors to collaborate on books, for public comment on policy documents, and even for procurements.
But the real transformation that Github has brought to government goes much deeper. It’s about a culture of openness and collaboration that changes how government technology is built and government services are delivered.