Thursday, February 11, 2010

Your Two Cents

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Your Two Cents
Posted by Erin Edgerton on February 11, 2010 at 02:44 PM EST
As part of the Open Government Directive, 25 different agencies have launched open government webpages and are using those sites to take your ideas for how they can be more open and transparent.

Launched on Feb 6th, these webpages are only one of the important milestones laid out in the Directive and the next deliverable, an open government plan for each agency, is being developed based on your input. Each agency’s plan will serve as a two-year roadmap for how the principles of transparency, collaboration, and participation will be incorporated in both the agency’s overarching mission and day-to-day activities.

Your feedback can help influence the development of agency plans, transparency policies, and publically disclosed data. Here are some examples from ongoing discussions:

Department of Homeland Security Dialogue:

Immigration – National Visa Center
Information from the phone contact system is not always up-to-date about cases. Need to improve it to provide the actual/current status of cases. Applications take a long time at the USCIS Office, but there is a tool where one can check the status of a case online. We need to have a similar online tool to check status of cases that are at the NVC. It should give a general ideas on where in the process a case is.

Department of Education Dialogue:

Funding for Open Source Textbooks, Lesson Materials, Etc.
Current textbooks are expensive, and not really great. Creating free textbooks that schools could modify for their own purposes would raise the bar.

General Services Administration Dialogue:

Vacancy Rates of Federal Buildings
Provide location-based data for recent years with geo-mapping on each Federal building performance measures, such as: Utilization (i.e., occupancy rate), Condition Index, Mission Dependency, and Annual Operating Costs and other like measures from the Federal Real Property Council.

Through many of these agency discussions, you can suggest a new idea or vote on others’ comments. Visit the GSA list of participating agencies to find ongoing conversations and join the discussion today.

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