OMB encourages collaboration about open government — using an existing tool

I mentioned that there is a lot of consternation and concern among agencies about the stimulus bill, recovery.gov — and the amount of oversight in the bill. I think it is important to remember that what the Obama administration is attempting has never been done before. And there is a whole ot of focus on transparency. Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Max Cacas was on the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris on...

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20090227-1822rc49euy4uqtknnie6ueh1jI mentioned that there is a lot of consternation and concern among agencies about the stimulus bill, recovery.gov — and the amount of oversight in the bill. I think it is important to remember that what the Obama administration is attempting has never been done before. And there is a whole ot of focus on transparency. Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Max Cacas was on the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris on Friday talking about it… and there were a whole contigent of transparency afficinados in DC over the weekend for Transparency Camp. Best way to follow what happened was on Twitter by searching #tcamp09 or on the Transparency Camp wiki.

Agencies have been concerned about how they make the Obama administration’s “Open Government Directive” — and they are collaborating around this issue. OMB is using the MAX federal community wiki to enable people to collaborate and share ideas — great idea. My hope, of course, is that OMB will find some way to open this up to others who might have ideas about how to make this happen.

If you don’t know about the MAX federal community, the National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project has a case study on it here … and last year when I was at Federal Computer Week, we highlighted it as a case study in collaboration.

In case you missed this item from GSA’s DotGovBuzz:

White House: White House seeks feedback on transparency memo, creates new CTO position

The White House is asking the government community to submit ideas and topics that should be included in the “Open Government Directive” that was called for in the President’s Jan. 21 memo to all department and agency heads on transparency and open government.

The directive, which is being crafted by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, along with OMB and GSA, will tell agencies how to conduct government with more transparency, participation, and collaboration and is due to be issued May 21. Among other things, it will call for an interagency process for identifying and implementing innovations in government, and a significant amount of public engagement.

The White House is using OMB’s MAX wiki to solicit innovative ideas, proposals and brainstorming about how government can tackle the topics of transparency, public participation and collaboration, until March 6. Currently MAX is only open those with a dot gov email address, but plans are to create another website open to the public. (To participate, click on the above link and after signing-in, select Open Gov under government-wide communities.)

The White House has formally created the position of “Assistant to the President and Chief Technology Officer” in an Executive Order issued February 5. White House positions of “Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Liaison,” “Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change,” “Chief Executive Officer, Corporation for National and Community Service” and “Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy” were also created by amending a Clinton Administration executive order.

After the break, read the e-mail message send out to agencies… and the PowerPoint presentation on how to use the MAX wiki.

The note sent to agencies about using the MAX wiki:

New Virtual Community Created to Shape President’s Open Government Directive
On February 16th, a new government-wide community – the Open and Innovative Government Community – was created on the MAX Federal Community system to capture your ideas on how best to implement the President’s Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/TransparencyandOpenGovernment/. The directive calls for agencies to work together to create a new level of transparency, participation, and collaboration across government and with the public.

The new Administration wants ideas from those of us “in the trenches” about how best to meet these goals. Over the next 100 days, the Open and Innovative Government Community will convene a series of on-line conversations to brainstorm innovative strategies, evaluate their promise, and flag potential challenges (legal, technical, and operational) that must be overcome. ). If you have an idea — or an innovation you want to highlight — log in to MAX and let them know how you would make our government more transparent, participatory and collaborative: https://max.omb.gov/. Ultimately, these conversations will shape the President’s Open Government Directive to all executive departments and agencies.

All government employees are invited to participate in the discussion and anyone with a government email (.gov) can participate now (including contractors and state and local governments). I have attached a PowerPoint with specific instructions. If you do not have a .gov address, OMB is developing a public facing website to mirror the same process running for the .gov community. It will be available in early March. Directions.

See that PowerPoint presentation here…