On taking office back in January, one of the first actions of the Obama administration was to issue an “open government directive,” aimed at pushing the US government toward becoming transparent, participatory and collaborative.
The directive called for a set of recommendations for achieving “open gov” to be issued within 120 days. The deadline for this was today.
There doesn’t seem to be a set of recommendations that I can find. Instead, the public is being invited to co-create a set of recommendations. Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/open to see.
Today we are kicking off an unprecedented process for public engagement in policymaking on the White House website. In a sea change from conventional practice, we are not asking for comments on an already-finished set of draft recommendations, but are seeking fresh ideas from you early in the process of creating recommendations. We will carefully consider your comments, suggestions, and proposals.
Here’s how the public engagement process will work. It will take place in 3 phases: Brainstorming, Discussion, and Drafting.
Beginning today, we will have a brainstorming session for suggesting ideas for the open government recommendations. You can vote on suggested ideas or add your own.
Then on June 3rd, the most compelling ideas from the brainstorming will be fleshed out on a weblog in a discussion phase. On June 15th, we will invite you to use a wiki to draft recommendations in collaborative fashion.
These three phases will build upon one another and inform the crafting of recommendations on open government.
This will definitely be worth watching — and serve as a model for those curious about how governments can undertake online consultations.
Update: just hopped over to http://opengov.ideascale.com/ – this is where the actual brainstorming phase of this consultation is taking place – as of 3.25 pm EDT, there are already 18 proposed recommendations that have been voted on 206 times. Not bad for the first hour that this has been live.