How Would You Make the Federal Government More Transparent? The White House Wants to Know

The White House yesterday launched a new open government initiative to invite the public to participate in crafting recommendations for making the federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. You can see the new Federal Register notice here.

This announcement follows President Obama’s instructions in the January 21, 2009 Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government. The memo directed the Chief Technology Officer (recently-named Aneesh Chopra), in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Administrator of General Services, to coordinate the development of recommendations for an Open Government Directive within 120 days. AALL recently signed on to a letter to Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Open Government Beth Noveck to request that the White House announce a formal process for public input on developing recommendations. We are pleased to see this process launch this week and we applaud the Administration for their new effort to collect public feedback using Web 2.0 technologies.

As explained in the White House blog post written by Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra and Dr. Noveck, the open government initiative will take place in three phases: Brainstorming, Discussion, and Drafting. Right now, you’re invited to suggest and vote on ideas for the open government recommendations as part of the “brainstorming session.”¬† Next, on June 3rd, the discussion phase will begin with the “most compelling” ideas from the brainstorming further explored on a new blog. Finally, on June 15th, the White House will invite you to use a wiki to collaboratively draft recommendations.

If you have thoughts about how you would make the federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative (and I’m sure many of you do!), we encourage you to submit your ideas to the White House before June 19th.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

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