Sent 4/9/2009 5:53:37 PM
Subject: Material on Open Government
As suggested by Beth Noveck, to whom I sent a copy this morning, the following is offered for consideration. Permission is granted to share this material publicly.
Reproduced below is the index to the latest issue of Standards Today, which focuses on technology and open government. Unlike most of the debate, which focuses on what should be disclosed and
made interactive, the articles in this issue focus on how critical decisions relating to the choice of technology and standards will determine who will be able to take advantage of open government. If the wrong decisions are made, open government will be open only to the technically sophisticated, the able-bodied and the well to do, rather than to all.
I've pasted in the email announcement below, but in case the links are no longer live, you can find the complete issue here: http://www.consortiuminfo.org/bulletins/feb09.php
Finally, you'll note in the Editor's Note at the beginning that there are several previous issues that focus on other technology aspects of the Obama agenda: http://www.consortiuminfo.org/bulletins/feb09.php
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Vol VIII No 2
IT Policy And The Road To Open Government
Over the last two hundred years, poll taxes, literacy tests and other artificial barriers have too often stood between the less privileged and the exercise of their rights of citizenship. Will the migration of government services to the Web be a great leap forward, or an avoidably negligent step back?
The Obama Administration has committed to creating an "unprecedented level of openness in government," made possible by an equally ambitious utilization of information technology. How that technology, and the standards upon which it relies, are selected will determine whether open government is made available to all, or only to the technically sophisticated, the able-bodied, and the well to do.
Governments represent some of the most complex enterprises in existence, typically comprising multiple "silos" of high-value information trapped within proprietary legacy systems. Government CIOs today are struggling to upgrade their vast IT systems to exchange information across the enterprise, even as President Obama has called upon them to make much of the same information publicly accessible via the Internet. What should the result look like, and why?
"Openness" in technology means different things to different people in different settings, because different settings attract different participants with different goals. What should it mean to governments?
You'd never write a blank check to a house painter to paint your house. So why hand one to a lawyer? Good question.
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