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GovLoopers Get Ready For Rhode Island

A few weeks back we posted on GovLoop about Lincoln Chafee an Independent candidate running for Rhode Island Governor and how he outlined GovLoop heavily in his Open Government Initiative for the state.

Well last night just like any man with a good plan Chafee won the election for Rhode Island Governor. We are really pumped that Rhode Island has someone passionate about pushing Open Gov and improving Government Performance!

In the next few months we are hoping to see an influx of Rhode Island peeps and hope that we can truly help their state government rock it out.

Here is the press release on Chafee’s Open Gov Initiative:

(Warwick,
Rhode Island, October 11, 2010) Lincoln Chafee, independent candidate
for Governor, today announced that as Governor he will issue an
Executive Order on Open Government, through which he will implement a
plan to utilize modern information technologies to make government
services easier to use, government operations more transparent, and
government more efficient overall.

Chafee’s Executive Order
will also set standards on the quality and accessibility of government
information, ensuring that high-quality information is shared both
internally within government, and externally between government and
citizens.

“Rhode Island state government must be open,
accessible, and accountable to its citizens,” Chafee said. “For too
long, cronyism and corruption have run rampant because of a lack of
transparency. My administration will be based on honesty, integrity,
and accountability. My Open Government initiative will make it much
easier for citizens and government employees to access information and
services presently residing in obscurity, and to connect with and learn
from each other. Further, this initiative will cut costs by opening up
the procurement process to generate more competition and increased
compatibility with municipal governments.”

Chafee’s plan includes:

1.
User-friendliness upgrade of RI.gov: RI.gov, our state government
website, may provide valuable resources, but those resources are
valueless if citizens cannot understand how to use them. I will upgrade
RI.gov to ensure that citizens can take maximum advantage of the public
services they pay tax dollars to fund. The upgrade will include putting
online government services that currently require a trip to state
offices, such as making DMV appointments and renewing drivers’
licenses. This initiative will make online services available for free.
The upgrade will also include increasing the usability of the
information in the already-existing Information & Data Center (http://www.ri.gov/information),
specifically by making it more searchable and track-able. We will also
add new content to the site, such as clear information about our
state’s tax policy and the performance of government programs.

2.
Open Procurement Process: Government procurement has become synonymous
with fraud and inefficiency. I will eradicate this longstanding trend
by introducing transparency to the procurement process. Like the
federal BetterBuy Project, our administration will offer citizens a way
to submit, comment on, and vote on ideas for making our state’s
procurement process more effective. I will put an end to hurried “end
of year” procurements, which have higher costs and inadequate
competition, and build a repository to share market research across
government, in order to eliminate the existing duplication of the same
research efforts. My administration will also update the prices in the
state’s Master Pricing List and make it accessible to municipalities.
This will create a more open and competitive procurement process,
resulting in an economy of scale that will benefit taxpayers at both
the municipal and state levels.

3. Accessibility and
collaboration with GovLoop: All states in the U.S. face the same major
problems as Rhode Island, but our government lacks a mechanism for
learning from their solutions. I am dedicated to learning from the
economic development and job creation policies of other states, and to
helping our state’s government employees better learn from each other.
For these reasons, I will join GovLoop, a social network site for
government employees that currently connects over 30,000 federal, state
and municipal employees, and will encourage all state employees to do
the same. Participating in GovLoop will allow Rhode Island to learn
from existing solutions and share best practices, both externally and
internally.

4. Resolving neighborhood issues with SeeClickFix:
Too many resolvable neighborhood issues go unresolved because the
appropriate parties are not notified. I want to include Rhode Islanders
in the process of stewarding their neighborhoods by encouraging the use
of SeeClickFix, a free mobile phone and web application that allows
citizens to identify, report, and fix non-emergency issues in their
neighborhoods. As part of announcing my Open Government platform, my
campaign will organize a SeeClickFix Storm, whereby we ask our
supporters to spend a weekend logging local issues on SeeClickFix.
Citizens will be helping us help them, and participating in the work of
government in a meaningful way.

“My Open Government platform
represents a symbolic shift towards freeing ourselves from the old,
opaque politics that have crippled our state’s economy. Together, with
openness, transparency, and accountability, we can forge a new way
forward for Rhode Island,” Chafee concluded.

Lincoln Chafee,
former Mayor of Warwick and former US Senator, seeks to become the
first independent Governor in Rhode Island history, running on a
platform of honesty, proven experience and political independence.



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