Asking people how to run open government (US only)

In January US President Barack Obama circulated memos to public agencies saying Government should be transparent, participatory, collaborative. Yesterday senior adviser Valerie Jarrett announced on the White House blog how that will be put into practice …. through an open process:

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

These three phases will build upon one another and inform the crafting of recommendations on open government.

There’s also an innovations gallery showing “innovations and innovators across the Government who are already translating the values of open government into practice”.

Amazing. More on how it will work at techpresident. On the White House blog Beth Godwin showcases other examples of government use of new, social media.

Over here in the UK, mySociety are asking candidates for the position of Speaker to endorse three principles about voters right to know in detail how money is spent on MPs and parliament; better publication of Bills online; and also:

3. The Internet is not a threat to a renewal in our democracy, it is one of its best hopes. Parliament should appoint a senior officer with direct working experience of the power of the Internet who reports directly to the Speaker, and who will help Parliament adapt to a new era of transparency and effectiveness.

First stop Washington.

PS For UK government initiatives follow the Cabinet Office blog, and the Director Digital Engagement Andrew Stott on Twitter @dirdigeng. You can vote here on what you think Andrew should do, but it is a strictly unofficial exercise set up by blogging civil servant Steph Gray.

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