Thursday, January 22, 2009

Transparency comes to Washington

"Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government's effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions." - Pres. Barack Obama

While on the campaign trail last year Obama often talked about the need for a more open and transparent government, ideals held up by great organizations such as The Sunlight Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Practicing what you preach is always a tough road to take. I am, however, heartened by early signs that Obama will follow through on his commitment to a more participatory democracy.

On Obama's first day in office, his Administration released two presidential memoranda covering freedom of information, transparency and open government. With respect to the latter two elements, he says:

"Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector. Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation." For more details on Obama's steps towards a more open and participatory government, check out TechPresident's coverage, as well as Boing Boing's.

1 comment:

  1. as his every move and his administrations move is now being watched as close as a hawk....this initiative is certainly one to be applauded and it gives all of us a chance to sigh with excitement of the good things to come. So much to be said/and thought about this new era that we now find ourselves in. but saving those comments for Commonwealth, the ever optimist Friedman has something to contribute to this. Hope the mirrors continue to stay up....