Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Kundra's Choice: FedSpace R.I.P., Data.gov Soldiers On

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 24 2011

After Congress shrunk funding for the Electronic Government Fund as part of the recent budget debate, the waiting game has been on seeing what federal technology projects U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra would decide to cut, reduce, or otherwise save money on. Well, wait no more. Kundra has written a letter to interested Senator Tom Carper, reports Federal News Radio's Jason Miller, and it in he details which programs will be getting the heave-ho, and which would forge ahead, though in a diminished state. Two programs, reveals Kundra, are totally done for:

  • FedSpace is a collaboration platform for federal employees to share information and develop a community to solve problems. The General Services Administration runs FedSpace, but it was only in beta testing.
  • The Citizen Services Dashboard was expected to provide information about the quality of federal services, including timeliness, accuracy and customer satisfaction, to citizens. OMB hoped to add other services including using data to inform agency decisions making.

As for the big flagship sites -- Data.gov, the IT Dashboard, USASpending.gov -- will go on from here. But that doesn't mean all is well. Kundra and OMB won't be able to do the things they'd like to do to make those resources stellar. "We will not be able to fund development efforts to improve data accuracy through automation or streamlining," writes Kundra, "nor will funds be able to increase transparency." What's more, development will stop on Data.gov's communities of practice, that social layer of the site that was hoped to help boost adoption of open government data.

Which means that the 112th congress's cuts will be what people of future use as evidence that the open government movement on the federal level in the U.S. was never really given a fair shot at success. Or, as as the Sunlight Foundation's John Wonderlich just tweeted, "Congress has now given the adminisration [sic] an excuse for underperforming on their transparency promises."

Note: Our Andrew Rasiej and Micah Sifry are senior advisors to the Sunlight Foundation.

News Briefs

RSS Feed monday >

After Election Loss, Teachout and Wu Keep Up Net Neutrality an Anti-Comcast Merger Campaign

The Teachout/Wu campaign may have lost, but their pro net-neutrality campaign continued Monday as both former candidates participated in a rallly in New York City marking the final day to comment on the Federal Communications Commission's Internet proposals and kept up their pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo. GO

friday >

NYC Politicians and Advocacy Groups Say Airbnb Misrepresents Sharing Economy

A coalition of New York election officials and affordable housing groups have launched an advocacy effort targeting Airbnb called "Share Better" that includes an ad campaign, a web platform, and social media outreach. GO

First POST: Data Dumps

The Internet Slowdown's impact on the FCC; Uber drivers try to go on strike; four kinds of civic tech; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Positive Sums

How Teachout won some wealthy districts while Cuomo won some poor ones; DailyKos's explosive traffic growth; using Facebook for voter targeting; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Emergence

Evaluating the Teachout-Wu challenge; net neutrality defenders invoke an "internet slowdown"; NYC's first CTO; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

De Blasio Names Minerva Tantoco First New York City CTO

Mayor Bill de Blasio named Minerva Tantoco as first New York City CTO Tuesday night in an announcement that was greeted with applause and cheers at the September meeting of the New York Tech Meet-Up. In his remarks, De Blasio said her task would be to develop a coordinated strategy for technology and innovation as it affects the city as a whole and the role of technology in all aspects of civic life from the economy and schools to civic participation, leading to a "redemocratization of society." He called Tantoco the perfect fit for the position as a somebody who is "great with technology, has a lot of experience, abiltiy and energy and ability to create from scratch and is a true New Yorker." GO

First POST: Fusion Politics

The Teachout-Wu Cuomo-Hochul race as it comes to a close; more criticism for Reddit as it prepares a major new round of funding; First Lady Michelle Obama as an Upworthy curator; and much, much more. GO

More