Refreshing WH.gov/open!

146 views
Skip to first unread message

Zarek, Corinna

unread,
Sep 4, 2014, 2:18:20 PM9/4/14
to us-open-g...@googlegroups.com

Hello!

 

We are working on a refresh of the Open Gov website, found at whitehouse.gov/open, and we’d like your help!

 

If you’re familiar with the history of the page, you can see we have begun updating it by shifting some of the existing content and adding new tabs and material.

 

What suggestions do you have for the site? What other efforts might we feature?

 

Please let us know – reply back to this thread, email us at ope...@ostp.gov, or tweet us at @OpenGov!

 

Thanks!

Cori

 

 

Corinna Zarek

Senior Advisor for Open Government

Office of Science and Technology Policy | The White House

202.456.6075

 

whitehouse.gov/open

@OpenGov

 

Daniel

unread,
Sep 5, 2014, 10:02:41 AM9/5/14
to Zarek, Corinna, us-open-g...@googlegroups.com
Dear Cori,
 
Here are a few ideas on refreshing the White House’s /open page.
 

·         Add a list of relevant orders, memos, etc. having to do with open gov with links to where they can be found. There are a few, but it is not comprehensive.

·         Provide a link to the National Action Plan (both US and the international set of commitments) as well as information about the listserves, including this one. (Part of this is already complete).

·         Make more prominent the link to project open data & brief description

·         Link to FOIA resources (OIP and OGIS).

·         Make more prominent info about how each agency has set up /open pages

·         Add a set of links to each agency's /open plans (can draw from the OTG spreadsheet)

·         Include a list of staff working on openness in the White House and their areas of responsibility, such as the ongoing projects

·         Make more prominent "we the people" (currently buried)

·         Add a description and link to 18f and the new entity within white house

·         Add a link to WH staff lists (e.g. http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/disclosures/annual-records/2013)

·         Add a link to WH photo sets on flickr

·         Highlight and describe to GSA's efforts to make it easier for agencies to use technology http://www.digitalgov.gov/resources/negotiated-terms-of-service-agreements/

·         Add a link to OMB's federal budget page (perhaps with some description)

·         Add a link to ethics.data.gov

·         Keep the link to data.gov & brief description

 
 
Finally, there are many great ideas about how to make government more open and transparent. Consider including a way for people to submit ideas where those submissions are also visible to the public (assuming they do not violate TOS). Consider how agencies or the government could respond to these suggestions. Perhaps a miniature version of “We the people,” but without the voting requiring a response.
 
I hope this is helpful,
 
Daniel
 
Daniel Schuman | Policy Director
Direct: (202) 759-4926 | Mobile: (202) 577-6100
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "US Open Government" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to us-open-governm...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.

lu...@qiqochat.com

unread,
Sep 5, 2014, 10:13:57 AM9/5/14
to us-open-g...@googlegroups.com
Hello Corinna & Colleagues,

I'm impressed that there's a link to this group on the /open page.  I'm hoping that the increased visibility will strengthen this Google Group so that it can be a reliable source of ideas for people working in your position for many years to come.

Here's an idea to make the /open page more personal, live, and interactive...
I'd propose posting a link to a community-powered opengov phone hotline-- don't worry, you wouldn't have to receive all/any of the calls! :)  

This would be a place for people to make new connections in the opengov field, to brainstorm, and to share leading practices with each other.  People (both in government and in civil society) can simply indicate when they are available to talk about opengov, then they can receive calls from other people interested in opengov who dial the hotline.  Calls are intended to be relatively quick-- just 10-15 minutes to respect everyone's time.

I've created a prototype here: http://www.qiqochat.com/9/hotline  Since I opened the hotline 2 weeks ago for opengov and a few other online communities, I've received some great calls from people all over the country and even a few from Europe; it has brought my understanding of online community building to a whole new level.  I welcome your feedback and the community's feedback for how it can become even more useful so that it's something worth posting on the /open page.

Lucas Cioffi
Co-Founder, QiqoChat
Charlottesville, VA

Zarek, Corinna

unread,
Sep 5, 2014, 1:36:57 PM9/5/14
to lu...@qiqochat.com, us-open-g...@googlegroups.com

Thank you to Daniel, Lucas, and everyone else who has been sharing suggestions!

 

Keep ’em coming!

 

Cori

--

Alexander Howard

unread,
Sep 5, 2014, 3:46:21 PM9/5/14
to us-open-g...@googlegroups.com, corinna...@ostp.eop.gov
Can do! 


1) Reinstate the open government dashboard that was removed and update it to the current state of affairs and compliance, with links to each. The Sunlight Foundation and CREW have already audited agency compliance with the Open Government Directive. By keeping an updated scorecard in a prominent place, the Obama administration could both increase transparency to members of the public wondering about what has been done and by whom, and put more pressure on agencies to be accountable for the commitments they have made.

2) Re-integrate individual case studies from the “Innovator’s Toolkit,” which was also removed, under participation and collaboration

3) Create a Transparency tab and link to the “IC on the Record” tumblr and other public repositories for formerly secret laws, policies or documents that have been released.

4) Blog and tweet more about what’s happening in the open government world outside of the White House. Multiple open government advocates do daily digests and there’s a steady stream of news and ideas on the #opengov and #opendata hashtags on Twitter. Link to what’s happening and show the public that you’re reading and responding to feedback.

5) Link to the White House account and open government projects on Github under both the new participation and collaboration tabs, like Project Open Data.

6) Highlight 18F’s effort to reboot the Freedom of Information Act.

7) Publish the second national action plan on open government as HTML on the site, and post and link to a version on Github where people can comment on it.

8)  Create a FAQ under “participation” that lists replies to questions sent to @OpenGov

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to us-open-government+unsub...@googlegroups.com.

Miriam Nisbet

unread,
Sep 5, 2014, 4:17:50 PM9/5/14
to us-open-g...@googlegroups.com, Zarek, Corinna
These are really good suggestions and I'm still digesting them. I'm intrigued by the idea of an Open Gov hotline, as Lucas has proposed and for which he has set up a prototype. FYI, our office fields several hundred calls a year from people trying to find out how and where to make a FOIA request, so there's lots of interest out there!

Miriam

++++++++++++
Miriam M. Nisbet
Director, Office of Government Information Services (OGIS)
National Archives and Records Administration
202-741-5771 (Miriam direct)
202-741-5770 (main)
1-877-684-6448 (main toll-free)
www.ogis.archives.gov

Street address: 800 North Capitol St NW, Washington, DC 20002
US Mail address: 8601 Adelphi Road (OGIS), NARA, College Park, MD 20740-6001



To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to us-open-governm...@googlegroups.com.
To post to this group, send email to us-open-g...@googlegroups.com.
Visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/us-open-government.

Luke Fretwell

unread,
Sep 5, 2014, 4:53:52 PM9/5/14
to Miriam Nisbet, us-open-g...@googlegroups.com, Zarek, Corinna
I created a Uservoice page for this: 


Alex/Lucas/Daniel, OK to add your ideas or do you want to do yourself?

++ on moving this forward, Cori!

Lucas Cioffi

unread,
Sep 5, 2014, 5:09:39 PM9/5/14
to us-open-g...@googlegroups.com
Hello Miriam,

I'd like to build on what you said.  As you know, it costs a lot to field those hundreds of FOIA calls, so adding a new responsibility of answering calls from a new opengov hotline to the OSTP's long list of existing responsibilities is impractical.

So what I find exciting about a "community-powered" hotline for opengov (or even for FOIA specifically), is that a community can begin to answer its own questions while members interact and build relationships.  By helping to get a hotline started, the role of government evolves from providing information (bidirectional) to enabling and empowering a community of people to help each other (multi-dimensional).

The software development community has used this "community-powered answers" model for years on leading websites like StackOverflow.  Indeed, the GSA has even created a copy of StackOverflow where 3000+ software developers are discussing open data.  I think many opengov advocates who are not software developers might find a Q&A site like that to be unapproachable, so that's where a community-powered hotline like this prototype can bridge the gap.

My biggest regret from organizing all those opengov community summits between '09-'11 with about 8 federal agencies was that we never created sufficient infrastructure to help the 1500 participants stay connected.  What's become more and more clear to me over time is that the center of gravity of the opengov community is not our information, but of course it is our people.  Connecting us to each other in ways where we can build relationships and transfer knowledge efficiently (these Google Groups are a decent start) is critical.  

Eventually each of us leaves the opengov community to retire or pursue other opportunities; the lasting impact we make is not the facts or processes we document on a website, but the ideas we transfer to others who are entering the community with new energy.  So that's why I was so impressed to see the /open page point directly to this discussion group, to support the people helping to make opengov happen and to invite new members.
-- 

Lucas Cioffi
Co-Founder, QiqoChat
Charlottesville, VA


Daniel Morgan

unread,
Sep 5, 2014, 5:18:06 PM9/5/14
to Lucas Cioffi, us-open-g...@googlegroups.com
Alex,

I'd be interested in hearing you detail your vision for the open government dashboard, were it to be reinstated.

The dashboard never really evolved from the format that you linked to, and there's an old Information Week piece about it here: http://www.informationweek.com/software/information-management/open-government-dashboard-agency-sites-launched/d/d-id/1086739?. Do you think that the compliance-oriented dashboard is the way to go?

You outlined a good compliance use case in your 2012 piece (http://gov20.govfresh.com/citizen-audit-which-federal-agencies-
have-published-open-government-plans-2-0-online/) back when v2 plans were due to be posted. Is that still necessary?

What do you think of how the original questions the White House posed about the dashboard back in 2009 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2009/12/14/white-house-open-government-dashboard-seeking-your-input)? Are they relevant today? Do they align with what the dashboard ended up being?

Best,
Dan

Megan Eskey

unread,
Sep 5, 2014, 5:19:03 PM9/5/14
to us-open-g...@googlegroups.com, corinna...@ostp.eop.gov
I would like to see more of an emphasis on the transparency/anti-corruption aspects of OpenGov on the site.  Specifically, resources for whistleblowers both in and out of government, info about the False Claims Act, info about IGs and other resources for federal employees who have identified incidents in their agencies, and so forth. 

There are so many different sites and groups like POGO, but no single location for the "big picture".  Here is my "Thinking Outside Pandora's Box" LinkedIn influencer post that could provide a starting point, since I have gathered together many examples of malfeasance in the agencies with links to information about how to handle the wide range of specific incidents. 

It's a challenging problem, but one that OpenGov is probably best suited to handle.  https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140404112547-4966-coming-soon-thinking-outside-pandora-s-box

Tim Bonnemann

unread,
Sep 7, 2014, 1:17:17 PM9/7/14
to us-open-g...@googlegroups.com, corinna...@ostp.eop.gov
Hi Cori,

I'd like to re-introduce the idea of a public participation calendar:


The idea is to provide one central and complete list of all ongoing and upcoming (formal) public participation opportunities at the federal level, e.g. agency rulemaking and policy consultations.

Not only would this make it a lot easier for the public to find out about, and participate in, these government decision making processes, longer term it would provide the basis for a much-needed quality assurance process, a more consistent and in-depth assessment of public participation efforts at the federal level (see also the administration's commitment in the 2nd U.S. National Action Plan regarding “best practices and metrics for public participation").

Thanks,
Tim

Member of the Board, IAP2 USA (http://iap2usa.org)
Founder and CEO, Intellitics, Inc. (http://intellitics.com)


On Thursday, September 4, 2014 11:18:20 AM UTC-7, Zarek, Corinna wrote:

Shanna Devine

unread,
Sep 8, 2014, 3:35:12 PM9/8/14
to us-open-g...@googlegroups.com, corinna...@ostp.eop.gov, Megan Eskey

Cori,

 

Thank you for seeking public input. The Government Accountability Project would like to second Megan’s excellent call for greater information on whistleblower resources. The Open Government Directive recognizes that the complex and emerging landscape of whistleblower protections requires an equally robust outreach initiative, such as the mandated agency training and education around existing rights.

 

Because whistleblower rights vary depending on one’s agency or field, information is posted in disparate locations and can be difficult to locate. In meetings on this topic, CREW’s Daniel Schuman has made the helpful suggestion of  a “Whistleblower.gov” of sorts – a one stop shop for workers to identify what channels and protections exist to blow the whistle. Given the OGD whistleblower mandate and commitment to government accountability and transparency, WH.gov/open is strategically positioned to fill this void though a comprehensive section/tab on whistleblower resources.

 

For starters, it would be helpful for whitehouse.gov/open to link to the Office of Special Counsel’s (OSC) website, since it processes federal whistleblower disclosures and complaints. However, OSC does not provide information about rights outside of its jurisdiction, such as Presidential Policy Directive-19 (for employees with access to classified information), underscoring the need for an all-encompassing resource page.

 

We too would be glad to help with implementation of this recommendation.

 

Thank you,

Shanna

 

Shanna Devine
Legislative Director; Investigator
Government Accountability Project
1612 K St NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 457-0034  ext. 132 (voice)
(202) 457-0059 (fax)
Email: sha...@whistleblower.org
Website:
www.whistleblower.org

--

Megan Eskey

unread,
Nov 4, 2014, 8:06:10 AM11/4/14
to us-open-g...@googlegroups.com, corinna...@ostp.eop.gov
Here is a report that highlights the root causes of extreme income inequality which are corruption and crony capitalism. It reminds us to focus on open data and transparency efforts that support competitive capitalism High income inequality is an indictment of crony capitalism, not competitive capitalism http://www.aei.org/publication/high-income-inequality-indictment-crony-capitalism-competitive-capitalism/


On Thursday, September 4, 2014 11:18:20 AM UTC-7, Zarek, Corinna wrote:

DP

unread,
Nov 4, 2014, 11:41:39 AM11/4/14
to Megan Eskey, us-open-g...@googlegroups.com, Zarek, Corinna
Perhaps some of the major open source projects such as MySQL, Apache, Red Hat and the White House's own drupal install would be happy to assist with integrating databases of small and large contracts. I think it would still be up to the information consumer to cross reference corporations and those who have a CAGE code to do their own journalism research beyond that information.

Is there an IT POC at open gov that could participate in this group discussion?

---
From the Desk of Denver Prophit Jr.
Circle and Follow Me: 
  1. https://www.google.com/+DenverProphitJr
  2. http://www.linkedin.com/in/denverprophit/
  3. https://www.facebook.com/denverprophitjr
  4. https://twitter.com/DenverProphitJr
This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses. The sender therefore does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this message, which arise as a result of e-mail transmission. If verification is required please request a hard-copy version. Denver Prophit Jr., 21204 Newport Sound Pl, New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA 32168, www.denverprophit.us


--
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "US Open Government" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to us-open-governm...@googlegroups.com.

DP

unread,
Nov 4, 2014, 2:40:04 PM11/4/14
to Megan Eskey, us-open-g...@googlegroups.com, Zarek, Corinna
Hey all... Just an after thought since Google Hangouts might not be ready or any other RFP for a video forum. Why not have a muted speakerphone on that people could dial in and listen. Just listen. I want to know what is said at those meetings. I feel left out and not represented. It would help me to blog about what was said and what my point of view may be. Thanks for consideration, Ms Zarek.

---
From the Desk of Denver Prophit Jr.
Circle and Follow Me: 
  1. https://www.google.com/+DenverProphitJr
  2. http://www.linkedin.com/in/denverprophit/
  3. https://www.facebook.com/denverprophitjr
  4. https://twitter.com/DenverProphitJr
This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-mail. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. E-mail transmission cannot be guaranteed to be secure or error-free as information could be intercepted, corrupted, lost, destroyed, arrive late or incomplete, or contain viruses. The sender therefore does not accept liability for any errors or omissions in the contents of this message, which arise as a result of e-mail transmission. If verification is required please request a hard-copy version. Denver Prophit Jr., 21204 Newport Sound Pl, New Smyrna Beach, FL, USA 32168, www.denverprophit.us


Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages