colab, reinventing government, RG09

RG09: Reinventing Government Under a New Administration in 2009

I’ve been thinking a lot about how a new wave of “reinventing government” can occur, and what it would substantively entail, under a new Presidential Administration in 2009. Most of my thinking draws on my hands-on experience in one little corner of the Federal Government with our NASA CoLab program, but I want to draw far beyond that. The ADI Leadership Forum I participated in on Saturday had a breakout session on this topic lead by Mitch Kapor and David Weekly. We didn’t get very far in that 1 hour session (the take-home, after a rather excruciating debate, was “more openness would be good”), but it WAS great to see that the topic was on the radar screen of this community enough to be put on the program.

I’m going to start a running laundry list of my thoughts here about RG09, in no particular order, and keep updating it between now and, well, Jan. 20, 2009 (at least):

  • RG09 is NOT just transparent elections or campaign finance reform or more transparent legislative process– all of which are themselves fundamental;
  • RG09 IS implementing changes in the way the Federal bureaucracy– approx. 1.8 Million civil servants if my brief online research is correct- does it’s work
  • Quick easy and impactful changes that an Executive Order might be able to launch:
    • Most Federal government data (other than that with national security, ITAR or citizen-privacy issues at stake)– pretty much anything you could get with a FOIA request– be required to be:
      • published in a consistent standardized format with appropriate metadata
      • licensed openly under a (new?) Creative Commons license
      • be accessible online through open an API
      • be accessible online through semantic search
    • All Civil Servants with no security clearance be encouraged to:
      • Keep and publish their work calendar online in iCal format
      • Twitter at least once a day about the most interesting or important thing they did or learned that day
      • Consider these activities in performance reviews of their direct reports
    • Etc…