Wednesday, November 13, 2013

People are fundamental to DC's open government initiative

Let's cut to the chase:   What is most important about the administration's transparency and openness efforts is that the government needs to hear from you about what you think will make the District more transparent and open.   Now to the background.

Mayor Vince Gray recently announced two open government initiatives.   The first is FOIAXpress.   The second is "Request for Comments on the District's Transparency and Open Government Initiative".   The latter is most interesting to me and was seriously underplayed in the announcement.   According to the release, "Request for Comments on the District's Transparency and Open Government Initiative" encourages

the public to participate in the formulation of possible initiatives and methods to increase openness and transparency in government. Comments may relate to government-wide or agency-specific policy, law, technology, culture and practices on issues such as:
  • What government information should be more readily available online or more easily searched;
  • Which document or data formats should be available for online information; and
  • How the operations of District government can be made more transparent and accountable.

The announcement details the numerous sites that make data available.   That's all well and good.   But know that you have a say in the improvements.   So weigh in today.   And then tomorrow if you have more ideas.   You can submit ideas using an online form, email, and by mail; the details are online.

Deadline for comments: November 29, 2013.

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