42 Voices About Open Government – Continuous Improvement

Open Government is a process, not a product, and continuous improvement calls on government agencies to innovate in all areas, not just technology. This was the core message of my presentation to the Federal Intranet Content Managers on the topic of Open Government at NASA. What I meant at the time was that open policy making should be a core aspect of any strong Open Government plan, but apparently that message was lost in the translation. So I will reiterate this message again, with a stronger emphasis on legislative reform and ensuring that internal government and business policies are inclusive, and allow for an open process whereby contributors can comment, edit and review policy before it goes into effect.

Why is this so important, and why is open policy making a key part of “continuous improvement” of Open Government? History has not been kind to the average citizen, to civil society as a whole, or to the average worker. So, we are faced with daunting challenges that include growing income/wealth gaps all over the world, extreme poverty in many nations, worldwide long term unemployment, and government structures that favor the well-connected few at the expense of the many.

In many parts of the world we have seen some small changes to the legislative process in the form of wiki-based law-making and the ability to vote and comment on legislation before it gets into the hands of the legislators. But for the most part, parliamentary and congressional process is an obstruction to legislative reform, and the individual states have been left to try to close the wealth gap on their own and to work around a divided and divisive legislative process at the national levels. Continue>>>