What Does Radical Transparency In Government Look Like?

from the well,-this-is-a-start dept

We've certainly complained when the new administration has failed to live up to its "transparency" promises, but the hiring of Vivek Kundra as federal CIO and Aneesh Chopra as federal CTO has put two real believers in transparency and openness in charge of the technology side of our federal government... and we're starting to see the very first results of that. It's still early, but it's actually quite impressive how much Kindra has accomplished in a very short time. Tim O'Reilly details the new federal IT spending dashboards that can be found at USASpending.gov, and it's really impressive for a gov't project put together in an incredibly short period of time. It actually shows each (participating) departments' projects, including goals and how close they are to meeting those goals. Real accountability? In government? Wow. The whole thing is built in drupal and data feeds are open to the public, so others can take the data on build on it. While it may be a small thing at this point, it's a huge step directionally in showing a commitment to more openness and transparency.


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  1.  
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    Dave, Jul 9th, 2009 @ 9:57pm

    Real accountability?

    This assumes that these data aren't typical government BS, which they most assuredly are. It's great PR, but real accountability doesn't come from a pretty web site.

     

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  2.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 9th, 2009 @ 10:01pm

    Re: Real accountability?

    "but real accountability doesn't come from a pretty web site."

    In government, it doesn't come at all.

     

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  3.  
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    Phillip Vector (profile), Jul 9th, 2009 @ 10:06pm

    Reason why I voted for Obama

    Yeah.. Even if this is political bull, it's still something that is out there (and if it was BS, then all projects would show as on schedule).

    I like this.. I like this ALLOT.

     

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  4.  
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    Freedom, Jul 10th, 2009 @ 1:20am

    Would have been nice if this was in place sooner...

    With all the major changes that have happened with this administration I have a hard time giving them an 'at ta boy' on this one.

    Don't get me wrong, definitely a step in the right direction, but it has only come as we are starting to see signs that his political foundation is starting to crack and he has received pressure from the left side on this issue as well.

    What worries me is that I think this was a political decision and not one of ideology. I hope I'm wrong.

    Freedom

    P.S. Liberals -> Want High Taxes to Control and Enslave People. Conservatives -> Use fear & religion to Control People. Apple -> Uses the Application Store/DRM to Control People. At some point we have to realize that saying we live in a Free Country is a bit of joke! To be free you must have true ownership rights but the last I checked we never really own anything. We only rent it from the government who allows us to keep it if we keep paying taxes on it and now we even allow companies to control the gadgets we own and what software we can run on them. Yeah - Freedom!

     

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  5.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 10th, 2009 @ 6:16am

    Re: Would have been nice if this was in place sooner...

    "P.S. Liberals -> Want High Taxes to Control and Enslave People. Conservatives -> Use fear & religion to Control People"

    Agree with most of what you said, but please don't confuse liberals/conservatives with democracts/republicans. They aren't even close to being the same thing.

     

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  6.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jul 10th, 2009 @ 6:23am

    No offense but....

    If it is "bull" then people will figure it out rather quickly....

    ...

     

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  7.  
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    Bradley Stewart, Jul 10th, 2009 @ 6:25am

    I Really Believe The Obama Administration

    is trying to foster a culture of transparency. Here is the problem. When he thinks about large culture changing issues that will affect nearly everyone in this country for him to carve out his positions in stone do nothing more than make him and his policy's a stationary target. All the special interest groups move in and here come all the adds telling everyone how awfull things will be if his policy's are adopted. I'm not saying that some of the things that his opposition is saying does not have some validity its just why should Obama lead with his chin.

     

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  8.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 10th, 2009 @ 7:01am

    Haha

    In Amerika, government transparencies YOU!

     

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  9.  
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    Ryan, Jul 10th, 2009 @ 7:23am

    U.S. government awards $18 million contract to redesign Recovery.gov:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Hoyer-linked-f irm-will-do-Recoveryorg-redesign-50353982.html

    Transparency is good, but it won't do any good if people don't get outraged by things like spending 18 million dollars to change up a website...

     

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  10.  
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    hegemon13, Jul 10th, 2009 @ 7:37am

    Re: Would have been nice if this was in place sooner...

    Small correction:

    "Conservatives -> Use fear & religion to Control People"
    should read
    "Republicans -> Use fear & religion to Control People"

    The modern Republican party is far from conservative. They spend big, want a big and powerful federal government, and constantly intrude where they shouldn't, violating privacy and free speech all over the place. They overuse our military to become embroiled in other countries' affairs, etc. Heck, the very use of religion as a guide for setting policy precludes them from being considered true conservatives.

    True conservatives would be parties like the Libertarian Party or the Reform Party. They still have their faults, but they definitely do not use fear and religion to control people. True conservatism is based on LESS government control, not more.

     

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  11.  
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    Dave, Jul 10th, 2009 @ 7:48am

    Re: Reason why I voted for Obama

    "and if it was BS, then all projects would show as on schedule"

    That does not logically follow.

     

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  12.  
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    Dave, Jul 10th, 2009 @ 7:52am

    The problem is...

    Why is this one guy -- one guy -- making decisions "about large culture changing issues that will affect nearly everyone in the country"? That isn't in the office of the presidency, and even if it was, it would still be a morally wrong and practically ridiculous way to organize a society.

    It's not the transparency, it's the (blithely assumed) tyranny.

     

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  13.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 10th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Would have been nice if this was in place sooner...

    Completely agree. A lot of people see similarities between the Republican party today and the National Socialists Workers Party. Now I don't know how fair of a comparison that is, but when you start looking at some of the Nazi connections (some direct, most indirect) in the party, particularly in the businesses financing them, it kind of starts to make more sense.

     

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  14.  
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    Phillip Vector (profile), Jul 10th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Reason why I voted for Obama

    It does..

    Say you were hired to show the government in a good light. Kind of like a "Hey, look at us. We are going great" kind of thing.

    Would you then show several projects as seriously behind schedule?

     

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  15.  
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    Phillip Vector (profile), Jul 10th, 2009 @ 10:30am

    Re: No offense but....

    I dunno. When was the last time you tried getting said information from the government?

    Not saying it's bull (quite the opposite actually). Just that people will just accept it as default.

     

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  16.  
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    Freedom, Jul 10th, 2009 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Would have been nice if this was in place sooner...

    >> but please don't confuse liberals/conservatives with democracts/republicans. They aren't even close to being the same thing.

    Good point!

    Freedom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Phil, Jul 10th, 2009 @ 1:53pm

    Legislative Transparency is a FAIL

    Congress has failed repeatedly to adhere to Obama's promise that pending legislation would be posted and online for scrutiny for a week before the legislation was voted on. This has never happened. The latest failure was with the House "Cap and Trade" bill. The bill was never posted online before the voting. 300 pages of amendments were tacked on the bill at 3am on the day of voting.

    I understand that Obama doesn't really have control over what he promised, but his administration has done NOTHING to keep this from repeatedly happening. Budget transparency is important, but legislative transparency is a prerequisite. It's become clear that Obama doesn't care about following through on this promise, and nobody in the mainstream media is calling him on this failure.

     

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  18.  
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    IT Disgusted, Sep 7th, 2009 @ 6:51pm

    Obama's Picks for CIO and CTO?

    Hey wait a minute. This is like a kick in the head for an half black guy who works in technology. Not only did Bama pick the curry over home grown talent but he picked two? Huh! Bama and his admin are officially on my turd list. Okay this is quite enough. We meaning US citizens are getting the shaft especially if you work in IT. Essentially this is the Bama admin catering to the H-1B visa theme that already exists (pervasive). I regret being roped into believing in the guy - voted for him too. I truly hope for better days, otherwise looking to specialize in an area not dominated by India as of yet. Not sure what career path as of yet, but right now I feel like an illegal in my own country after being ousted by a curry farm not too long ago. Yes, whitey loves the curry eaters who they can control. How did Bama get on with this mentality, I'll never know. After all isn't he supposed be a brother? Just joking I know he is but he sure doesn't act like it. Okay, just to make this point so very CRYSTAL CLEAR. Please type "h-1b work visa" into a google.com search and see how many sites are catering to this shit.

    Later

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    newest jordan shoes, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:05am

    newest jordan shoes

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