ENTRIES TAGGED "open government"

Does the Open Government Partnership merit more oversight and attention?

Rep. Issa weighs on on the Open Government Partnership and international treaties.

Brazilian President Dilma Roussef speaks at the 2012 annual Open Government Partnership conference

Brazilian President Dilma Roussef speaks at the 2012 annual Open Government Partnership conference

There are any number of responsibilities and challenges inherent in moving forward with the historic Open Government Partnership (OGP) that officially launched last September. Global Integrity’s recent assessment of the National Action plans submitted to the Open Government Partnership by participating countries found cause for both concern and optimism, As I’ve highlighted elsewhere previously.

The National Action Plan commits the United States to 18 different open government initiatives, including implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). One of the primary functions of the committee that Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) chairs in the U.S. House is to provide oversight of what’s happening in the Executive Branch of government. In that context, the Government Oversight and Reform has an important role in overseeing not just what the proposals are but how they’re actually executed by agencies. In March 2011, the committee held a hearing on open government initiatives in the United States.

Earlier this summer, I interviewed Rep. Issa about a number of issues related to open government at the federal level including the involvement of the United States in OGP. Here’s what he had to say on the topic:

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Uncertain prospects for the DATA Act in the Senate

If legislative efforts to standardize federal government spending data founder in the U.S. Senate, it's a missed opportunity.

The old adage that “you can’t manage what you can’t measure” is often applied to organizations in today’s data-drenched world. Given the enormity of the United States federal government, breaking down the estimated $3.7 trillion dollars in the 2012 budget into its individual allocations, much less drilling down to individual outlays to specific programs and subsequent performance, is no easy task. There are several sources for policy wonks to turn use for applying open data to journalism, but the flagship database of federal government spending at USASpending.gov simply isn’t anywhere near as accurate as it needs to be to source stories. The issues with USASpending.gov have been extensively chronicled by the Sunlight Foundation in its ClearSpending project, which found that nearly $1.3 trillion of federal spending as reported on the open data website was inaccurate.

If the people are to gain more insight into how their taxes are being spent, Congress will need to send President Obama a bill to sign to improve the quality of federal spending data. In the spring of 2012, the U.S. House passed by unanimous voice vote the DATA Act, a signature piece of legislation from Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA). H.R. 2146 requires every United States federal government agency to report its spending data in a standardized way and establish uniform reporting standards for recipients of federal funds.

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We the People need our existing Bill of Rights to apply in the digital domain

Why propose principles for Internet freedom and a "Digital Bill of Rights" when existing ones will do?

How the Bill of Rights is being upheld in a digital context is, to say the least, an interesting living story to follow.

The passage of a resolution that human rights must also be protected on the Internet in the United Nations Human Rights Council was a historic affirmation of the principle that “the same rights that people have offline must also be protected online.”

This affirmation may play well in the headlines, but it does raise some practical questions. For instance, would this high-level resolution by the U.N. Human Rights Council inhibit member countries if they violate their citizens’ right to freedom of expression online, if such countries are already violating human rights offline? Or would the U.N. Security Council ever vote for sanctions over Internet censorship of political or religious content that might be online speech in one country and deemed blasphemous or even illegal in another?

Violators could include Iran, Russia, Cuba, Syria — but also Pakistan, China, India or the United States or United Kingdom, should a livestreamer’s smartphone be taken away during a march or cell service shut down during a protest, as it was at a BART in San Francisco.

In this context — and related to their concerns about similar bills to the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act — Rep. Darrell Issa and Sen. Ron Wyden proposed a “Digital Bill of Rights” at the 2012 Personal Democracy Forum in New York City this summer.

In a phone interview last month, I asked Rep. Issa about the ideas behind the proposal principles and freedom of expression online.

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UK Cabinet Office relaunches Data.gov.uk, releases open data white paper

The British government further embraces open data as a means to transparency and "prosperity."

The Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom released a notable new white paper on open data and relaunched its flagship open data platfrom, Data.gov.uk. This post features interviews on open data with Cabinet Minister Francis Maude, Tim Berners-Lee and Rufus Pollock.

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The emerging political force of the network of networks

12 talks from the 2012 Personal Democracy Forum worth watching and sharing.

The ninth Personal Democracy Forum explored the nexus of technology, politics and campaigns. What's happening online matters offline. Indeed, the barrier between the virtual and physical worlds has fallen.

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mHealth apps are just the beginning of the disruption in healthcare from open health data

Rockstars from music, government and industry convened around healthcare at the 2012 Health Datapalooza

Two years ago, the potential of government making health information as useful as weather data may well have felt like an abstraction to many observers. In June 2012, real health apps and services are here, holding the potential to massive disrupt healthcare for the better.

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US CTO seeks to scale agile thinking and open data across federal government

US CTO seeks to scale agile thinking and open data across federal government

Todd Park is looking for Presidential Innovation Fellows to help government work better.

In this interview, U.S. chief technology officer Todd Park lays out his ambitious agenda to apply technology in the public interest. Park has introduced new presidential fellowships and programs to scale open data across the federal government, releasing more health information and making digital government citizen-centric.

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White House launches new digital government strategy

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel and CTO Todd Park say open data will be the new default.

The nation's top information technology officials introduced a bold new strategy for 21st century digital government that is built upon data, shared services, citizen-centrism and hews to consistent methodologies for privacy and security.

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Data journalism research at Columbia aims to close data science skills gap

Emily Bell is entrusted with teaching the data journalists of the next century at Columbia University.

In this interview, the director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University talks about the challenges and opportunities that face those who would practice data journalism in the 21st century. In particular, Emily Bell discusses the skills and mindset that are needed, including how a $2 million research grant will help support developing them.

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How to start a successful business in health care at Health 2.0 conference

Great piles of cash are descending on entrepreneurs who develop health care apps, but that doesn't make it any easier to create a useful one that your audience will adopt. About the Spring Fling conference, enterpreneurship, and open data.

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