When President Obama was elected into office, one of the main points of his campaign was to create a more open government. Obama wanted to open up to the public so that the American people had access and an open view to governmental actions. This new level of open government would lead to a new level of accountability and was ment to mend the gap between the government and the American people that was created over the course of history.
Not only did Obama want to create a more open and accountable government, a big issue was creating avenues to share government data and information easily with the general public. This was to be done on the web with the aid of web 2.0 technologies. One of the most visible changes since the Obama administration is the redesign of the White House homepage. Efforts have also included easy access websites that track government spending, using new technologies to make the public more aware about the government actions that directly affect their lives and issuing the Open Government Directive which requires all governmental organizations to share information and data on a regular basis on a centralized website.
All of these efforts are in the public view and people can see direct effects of these initiatives. However, what I find more interesting and what David Eaves and other political activists push for is a more internally open government. A lot of what Eaves talks about is seeing government as a platform or network. He uses the term E – Gov. which is the idea of how to get government online and interact within itself and people. In todays current form of operation, there is a very slim chance or even zero chance the government organizations are working with each other. The reason is because there is no channel of communication established between organizations. Organizations seem to operate without knowledge of the other organizations around them. If government can’t communicate with its self, then why should we expect the government to easily communicate with the public?
Internal communication is the key for a more efficient and open government. With the government being able to source its self for overlapping task that involve multiple organizations a better functioning government is created. The implementation of a government “Facebook” could aid in the effort to open the government up publicly. For public openness to happen, internal openness must occur first.
Government 2.o is already underway but has a very long way to go. For more information about Gov. 2.o, visit the Gov. 2.0 summit website here. For more information about E-Gov, visit the Wikipedia article found here. To find out more about open and transparent government efforts visit the Sunlight Foundation here.