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Open-Government Tools Unveiled by White House

Kim Hart

Four months ago, President Obama called for more transparency, participation and collaboration in the policy-making process and for agencies to be more open.

Today, which marks the original deadline for recommendations on how to achieve these goals, the White House has launched a number of online initiatives aiming to allow citizens to give more feedback and ideas directly to the government. The initiatives were developed by the office of the Chief Technology Officer, led by deputy CTO Beth Noveck as CTO nominee Aneesh Chopra works his way through the confirmation process, the Office of Management and Budget, involving Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra, and the General Services Administration.

The biggest piece of the newly launched tools is a three-phase process on by which citizens, government employees, officials, and pretty much anyone with an interest in developing transparency policies, can brainstorm, discuss and then help draft the guidelines., a new site that makes available raw data feeds from agencies, such as airline flight delay stats and weather patterns, also went live today.

"Washington does not have the monopoly on knowledge," Vivek said, adding that people of all walks of life from around the country can contribute their ideas, frustrations and solutions.

Reactions from open-government advocates are in the story, found here. And more details about the specific initiatives can be found here.

The initiatives are the administrations first major experiments with using social media platforms in the policy-making process. Sifting through the deluge of comments likely to be submitted to the site will be quite a big task. Let's hope the White House site can handle all the activity.

Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation said the sheer number of comments will show the potential of the new efforts. "If the White House site crashes today, that would be a great sign," she said.

By Kim Hart  |  May 21, 2009; 1:31 PM ET  | Category:  Kim Hart
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The President will release the 60-Day Cyber Space policy review report at the Whitehouse on Friday, May 29, 2009. The administration recognizes the very serious threats Public & Private sector Networks face from cyber-crime and cyber-attack. Recognizing these threats the President has elevated cybersecurity to a major administration priority by undertaking an early comprehensive interagency review. The administration is also committed to establishing the proper structure within the government to insure that cybersecurity issues continue to receive top-level attention and enhanced coordination. The report is an important first step toward securing the nation’s cyber-infrastructure.

Posted by: anthonymfreed | May 27, 2009 10:46 AM

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