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Coming Soon: Safety.Data.Gov, a Portal for All Federal Safety Data

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, April 16 2012

The federal Department of Transportation will take the lead on a new, federal-government-wide portal to safety data, it announced in a recent update to its Open Government Plan, which was first published in 2010. Read More

NASA's Open-Source Open Government Future

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, April 10 2012

NASA chose its website as flagship for a revamp of its open government plan rolled out yesterday, and — as if to show the agency meant business — did so with a brand-new, brightly colored buzzword-catcher of a website.

There are two things worth noting here. First, NASA — which, seeing as it has its own cloud computing environment, is on the leading edge of government IT already — is making the case that accessibility through web design and functionality will be important for open government. Second, the agency promises a full-scale reorientation in how it chooses technology. NASA's new goals include a transition to an open-source content management system and change its procurement process to value open-source over proprietary solutions. This in a federal government that wasn't clear on how to treat open-source software in procurement until 2009.

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UK's MySociety Releases How-To Guides, Source Code for Open Government Activists

BY Miranda Neubauer | Monday, March 26 2012

MySociety.org, the group behind several civic and democratic websites in the United Kingdom, this year is stepping up its effort to help people in other countries build websites based on its model with a project called DIY mySociety.

While in the past, the group has spread the word, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, through the CEE.mysociety.org project, and Tony Bowden, international agitator for mySociety, speaking at conferences and meetings, it is now aiming to reach a larger audience online by sharing the code of its sites, publishing how-to guides and engaging with the community through social networks and mailing lists. There are already projects based on mySociety's WhatDoTheyKnow model in Kosovo, Germany, Brazil and the European Union.

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What Does "Open Government" Even Mean Anymore?

BY Nick Judd | Friday, March 2 2012

In a paper published earlier this week, Harlan Yu and David G. Robinson assert that the phrase "open government," which used to mean government transparency — as in, revealing the internal functions and decision-making of government — has come to also mean increasing access to data that may not have anything to do at all with transparency. Read More

Aneesh Chopra's "Open Innovator's Toolkit"

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, February 15 2012

Over at O'Reilly Radar, Alex Howard catches a parting gift from outgoing White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra — "an "open innovator's toolkit" that highlights twenty different case studies in how he, his staff and his fellow chief technology officers at federal agencies have been trying to stimulate innovation in government."

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Oh Hi, Machine-Readable Federal Budget Data

BY Nick Judd | Monday, February 13 2012

Tucked off to one side in the "supplemental materials" section of the White House's just-released federal budget is something called the Public Budget Database, a collection of data tables in machine-readable formats. An accompanying users' guide explains:

The data files provide sufficient detail to produce: (a) outlay totals by agency, subfunction, and Budget Enforcement Act category that are consistent with the totals presented in the 2013 Budget; (b) receipt totals by source, as shown in various published tables in the Budget; and (c) the deficit (on-budget, off-budget, and unified budget basis).
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New Hampshire Legislature Passes Open-Source Software Bill

BY Raphael Majma | Friday, February 10 2012

The New Hampshire state legislature recently passed a bill that makes open data and open source software included by default in the state's procurement process.

The bill, HB 418, requires government officials to consider open-source products when making new technology acquisitions and only purchase products that comply with open data standards. Last year, Nick Judd covered how the New Hampshire legislature changed with the addition of several “geeks” to the House of Representatives and the passage of this new legislation shows a growing culture of friendliness to the tech concept of “open” in the statehouse. It is currently on its way to the governor's desk for signing.

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A New York City Transparency Project Will Open-Source a Look Inside the City's Checkbook

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, February 9 2012

An early rendition of what the next NYC Checkbook website might look like. Courtesy NYC Comptroller's Office

The office of the New York City Comptroller has begun coding up a revamp to a site that already gives a comprehensive look, updated daily, at nearly every check issued by the city. For the first time, the city will also offer software developers direct, programmatic access to a comprehensive trove of information about New York's fiscal health. And within a few weeks after the updated site launches, city officials say, the source code will be released online under an open-source license. Read More

The Europe Roundup: Introducing GOV.UK

BY Antonella Napolitano | Friday, February 3 2012

The UK government launched the beta version of GOV.UK

The UK government has recently launched the beta version of GOV.UK as a "first step towards a single government website.", in Italy the Parliament has rejected a SOPA-alike bill, in Ukraine a charity develops an interactive map to fight AIDS. And if you're getting confused with ACTA, here's a list of the most useful resources. Read More

House GOP Hosts Legislative Data and Transparency Conference

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, February 2 2012

Today, House Republicans are hosting a conference on legislative data and transparency. The goal, as it's been explained to me, is to set the table for a conversation between House leadership and open government/open data advocates about what the House could or should do next.

More information on the conference is here. It's being live streamed.

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