What I learned at Transparency Camp

There are people in our government who are strongly pushing for more openness and who are very focused on delivering better, more modern, service to citizens. They operate under some severe constraints, in some cases from rules and regulations that seem to have become obsolete. Yet you can see where these rules came from and also see the difficulty in just deciding not to follow them.

This paper, “Barriers and Solutions to Implementing Social Media in Government” is lauded by many at Transparency Camp is a very important contribution. Here’s the kind of thing it covers:

“As the new Administration looks to leverage these new tools to create a more effective and transparent government, it’s an opportune time for us to share what we’ve learned and propose solutions for how to best use these new tools across government.  These recommendations are based on our first-hand experience using social media within our own agencies and from hundreds of conversations with web managers across the country.” (fromBarriers and Potential Solutions“)

Another piece which has been mentioned and greatly admired is the “Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government” issued by the White House in January 2009. It’s short, and worth reading in its entirety. But here’s the opening paragraph:

“My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” (from Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government)

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