Changing the Rules!

There will certainly be changes to the old rules that hold the government back from using the web to its fully potential and implementing true public engagement. So many old laws are focused on doing good and yet hold the government back in their desire to use modern technologies to engage the public and perform better government.

The White House posted a blog tonight (Beth Novack) stating that federal policies would be a focus area of the Open Government Brainstorm Phase 2. Here is an excerpt:

As part of this same discussion on June 12th, we will talk about the policies we need to support the adoption of new tools for civic engagement by federal agencies. Government officials, in particular, had a lot to say on this topic on the MAX wiki:

  • Use the insights in the document Social Media and the Federal Government: Perceived and Real Barriers and Potential Solutions from the Federal Web Managers to craft better policy.
  • Update the Paperwork Reduction Act to distinguish between citizen engagement and burdensome forms. Redefine the meaning of "form" for the digital age.
  • Define some guidelines for standard web applications that are pre-approved under the Paperwork Reduction Act, e.g. any online survey with fewer than 10 questions that does not record personal information.
  • Develop strategies for modern records management compliance to ensure accurate archiving using electronic and collaborative technologies.
  • Provide the federal information technology infrastructure community with opportunities for training around new technologies. Make Web 2.0 part of standard operating procedure.
  • Update the cookies policy to come up to speed with the latest in browser practices and persistence technologies. Enable agencies to harness capabilities of cookies by streamlining approval process.
  • Make social media sites and web 2.0 technologies accessible to government employees at their desks.
  • Develop policy to support informal interaction between government employees and the citizenry.
  • Develop model no-cost agreements and guidelines for use of free software by agencies.

Great ideas -- June 12 will certainly be an interesting day for discussion!