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Phase 3 of Open Gov't Dialogue in Full Swing

Phase 3 of the Obama administration’s groundbreaking Open Government public consultation process (the Drafting Phase) is now in full swing at www.mixedink.com/OpenGov/ and I encourage NCDDers to get involved!  This Drafting Phase invites you to collaborate on creating recommendations for open government policy using a web-based wiki tool.  There’s a video tutorial up at www.vimeo.com/2674991 about how to use the tool.

NCDDers Leanne Nurse and Tim Bonnemann both took notes during yesterday’s conference call with White House staff about Phase III, and I’ve consolidated them below.

You also may want to check out the New York Times article published Monday on the open government dialogue called “Ideas Online, Yes, but Some Not So Presidential.”

Summary of today’s OGD call

Beth Noveck:
Phase III, Drafting OGD, open until midnight Sunday June 28
Using MixedInk, a tool the combines wiki and Digg
OMB policy, directive, guidance
Will use some ideas which may not need to be in OMB directive
Suggestions need to meet these criteria:
– Government-wide
– Executive branch only
– Concise language
– Four to six lines

Mixedink staff:
Submit original ideas
“Remix” ideas by copying and pasting text from others’ suggestions into your own text
Rate and comment on others’ ideas

Questions from participants:

Stephen Buckley (U.S. Transparency): Need more turnaround time for notices, something more than last minute e-mails. Can we have a listserv or Google group so that receivers can notify their respective networks faster? Noveck says they are going as fast as they can w/RSS feeds, Twitter.  Considering incorporating mobile technology.  Looking for suggestions during evaluation phase following phase 3.  Also clarified closing date (midnite Sunday June 28 vs. 12:01am Monday June 29).

Leanne Nurse (EPA): Concerned about basic access to whole process.  Building on Buckley concern about timely notice, remember how many people have no primary access, need to go to church, library or civic group to get online — and to get forwarded information that we may provide.  Noveck: Yes, we are aware, people have been e-mailing and snail-mailing suggestions.  The current rocess is far more than basic Federal Register notice & comment.  Sturmm/OSTP [sp]: Welcome suggestions about mobile phone methods to get out word on this – and how to use mobile approaches in implementing OGD.  Once the evaluation phase kicks in, we will look at how people participated in the development phase.

Roger Struther OMB Watch: Regarding timing (only two days for final rating), will there be an extension? Drafting and voting at the same time, disfavors late contributions. May not be adequate time. Pls consider an extension. Noveck:  We can think about that, but it means that all the deliverables (policy, directive, projects) will also be delayed.  Maybe one week more is not too much. If it makes a big difference to extend, we’re open to hearing it.

Deb Cole (EPA): (Tim’s notes)
Q: Difficult for agencies to post info on EPA web pages. Wondering if OSTP could send request to cross-post notice on Open Government Initiative.
A: Did inform CIO council to repost. Will pass this suggestion along.

Dalton: (Leanne’s notes) We have troble getting this process posted at the EPA site.  Can OSTP tell the CIOs to post it on the home pages? Noveck: We notified the CIO Council last week.  We will ask them to post it on their respective agency home pages.

John Wunderlich (Sunlight Foundation):
Q: Confirming that you are open for suggestions/recommendations under all sixteen topics under the three subheadings (transpearency, participation and collaboration)?
A: Yes.

Buckley: (Leanne’s notes) Building on Dalton’s posting idea, can we also encourage agencies to support, encourage employee participation, without which many feds will not feel comfortable volunteering their ideas.  Noveck:  Yes, we look forward from hearing from employees, too.

Stephen Buckley: (Tim’s notes)
Q: Lot of expertise in the agencies for crafting government directives. Not seeing much involvement. Maybe if there was a way to make it safe for them.
A: Thank you to the recovering bureaucrat on that call. 😉  One of the recommendations is to get the word out. Sending out notice to web manager, CIO council etc. letting them know that there is recognaissance (?).  touches upon larger point of culture shift that’s need that will give government officials the allowing to participate.

Final remarks (Beth?):
Put questions on the blog or email.
Check out the video tour with instructions.
Look forward to hearing from you.
This call is about asking you to help get the word out.

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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