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Re: Discussion points per this morning's call

From: Adam Harvey <harvey@thedesignstate.com>
Date: Wed, 27 May 2009 16:25:42 -0400
Message-Id: <8AB29964-13B2-4096-BC74-018517719551@thedesignstate.com>
To: eGov IG <public-egov-ig@w3.org>
Hello,

Here is my homework:

> Some questions to consider in formulating ideas include:
> How might the operations of government be made more transparent and  
> accountable?

I think the best way to meet this goal is to convince governments that  
transparency and accountability are in their best interests. Perhaps  
the best way to do THAT fits in with our current focus on influencing  
the development of Data.gov and its counterparts in other government  
entities (including regional and local). I think we can do this by:

1. Recommending a Data Depository (like Data.gov) where all data from  
a govt entity is easily found.

2. Offering a scalable recommendation for implementing various hooks  
into the data. (applications, various formats, etc.)

3. Recommend the development of a robust search tool/index for the  
data. (Much like what John Sheridan was mentioning in today's  
meeting.) So if I search for Cleveland, OH I'll get an extract from  
the Data Depo of all the information relating to my search query. Not  
just from one data source, but from all of them.

I think it basically boils down to ease of access.

> How might federal advisory committees, rulemaking or electronic  
> rulemaking be better used to drive greater expertise into  
> decisionmaking?

I don't know about the first two, but from what I've seen oft the  
interfaces for e-rulemaking, they could certainly benefit from some  
expert information/usability design to make it easier/more intuitive  
for folks to comment or amend items.
> What alternative models exist to improve the quality of  
> decisionmaking and increase opportunities for citizen participation?

The only one I know if is Peter Muhlberger's DEER project which I  
wrote about here:

http://thedesignstate.com/2009/01/04/peter-muhlberger-and-egovernment-design/

That post has links to his academic work. I can get in touch with him  
again if you'd like and direct him toward our work in the IG.
> What strategies might be employed to adopt greater use of Web 2.0 in  
> agencies?

1. Convincing the security folks that access to these tools is an  
advantage.
2. Convincing administrators that the use of these tools is necessary.
3. Finding a way to fit the use of Web 2.0 into existing job roles.  
(Is it only to be used by a Public Information Officer, an  
Administrator, or should lower-rung employees also participate)
> What policy impediments to innovation in government currently exist?

1. No funding for R&D.
2. Outdated security protocols
3. Results are hard to quantify or anticipate.
> What is the best way to change the culture of government to embrace  
> collaboration?

1. Wait ten years until the generation balance of the workforce has  
shifted. I would argue that, IN GENERAL, collaboration comes much  
easier to folks 30 years old or younger who've either lived half their  
lives or longer with the collaborative nature of the Internet as a  
constant presence.

2. I'm thinking regionally or locally here (and most of the time,  
actually): Convince elected officials or other administrators to leave  
their fiefdoms and work together. (Thus avoiding duplication of  
services and allowing access to different data sources.)
> What changes in training or hiring of personnel would enhance  
> innovation?

No idea. I don't know much about the HR end of things.
> What performance measures are necessary to determine the  
> effectiveness of open government policies?

I can't think of an answer to this one. To me it seems that open  
government policies don't need performance benchmarking. Open  
government is its own justification.

I realize I'm displaying quite a bit of ignorance and bias in these  
answers, so any counterarguments will be well appreciated. I wrote  
this before reading Brand's reply, and I have to say that his points  
make good sense.


Thanks for reading.

Adam
Received on Wednesday, 27 May 2009 20:26:18 GMT

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