Congressional Rep Makes A Pull Request On GitHub, Which Is Then Merged By US Gov't CIO
from the open-government dept
Well, here’s a possible first in open government: a Congressional Representative issuing a pull request on a government policy posted to GitHub, leading the US CIO to merge the request into the document. The White House has actually been using GitHub a bit lately. In fact, we had just noted how the White House CIO, Tony Scott, had been using Github to solicit feedback on various proposals, including the one to require all federal government websites go HTTPS only.
Another proposal concerned the Management and Oversight of Federal IT Resources. That included a draft policy document. A few weeks ago, Rep. Gerry Connolly (or, perhaps, a staffer…) made a pull request, adjusting some of the language in the draft policy:
Chances are there was a lot of behind-the-scenes coordination to make this happen. I doubt that we’ll be seeing Congress critters crawling around Github, posting bills, reviewing and merging pull requests and such — but is it such a crazy idea? Yes, right now it’s mostly useful for folks with some technical background, but given how well such processes have worked for more open development of code, why can’t it work for many other things up to and including regulations?
Yes, this particular example may be something of a stunt, but it’s still a milestone, and one worth paying attention to. It shows how we could move much more towards truly open government if we really had the will to go there.