Posts By Dennis McDonald

Data Transparency Needs Data Strategy!

One of the best things I’ve read recently is Grant Vergottini’s Imagining Government Data in the 21st Century where he lists and then explains seven characteristics of “data transparency”: The data must be available. The data must be provided in such a way that it is accessible and understandable by the widest possible audience. TheRead… Read more »

How Should DATA Act Implementation Impact Federal Project Management Practices?

Introduction The recent passage of the DATA Act (Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014) got me thinking about the data management work that will have to be initiated to support its implementation. Since both standard and existing legacy systems and processes will be impacted it’s likely a variety of data related project work willRead… Read more »

Can Meat-and-Potatoes “Big Data” Help Detroit?

In “Can Meat-and-Potatoes “Big Data” Help Detroit?” ( I provide some commentary on the “Innovation Economy” meeting in DC yesterday sponsored by the Aspen Institute, the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Intel. From the post: Just as foundations such as Knight and Ford are supporting collaboration among journalistic entities in around Detroit, perhaps there should alsoRead… Read more »

AGA’s Citizen Centric Reporting and Government Transparency

I found out about the Association of Government Accountants’ “Citizen Centric Reporting” initiative through the Government Performance Coalition in DC. Evie Barry of AGA runs the Initiative and put together a webinar recently where representatives of Scottsdale AZ and Suffolk VA talked about their experience in developing plain-language reports describing strategic objectives, performance, costs, andRead… Read more »

Sequestration Impacts on Federal Project Management

I’ve been researching how the US Federal budget sequester continues to impact Federal programs and projects (1). In interviews with Federal contractors I’ve heard repeatedly how sequester-driven budget reductions continue a trend to forcing quality levels and rates downward. These impacts are in addition to outright cancellations and delays in Federal project work. Especially worrisomeRead… Read more »

Does “Budgeting at the Brink” Encourage or Discourage Transparency?

Earlier this week in Washington DC I attended a meeting cosponsored by George Mason University and the Bipartisan Policy Center. Speakers, current or former members of the executive or legislative branches, addressed historical and current events surrounding sequestration, government shutdowns, and management uncertainties in Federal agencies. The discussions were not pretty and present a grimRead… Read more »

No Mention of PDF in Executive Order Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default

The first thing I did was look for a mention of “.pdf” in the document, but I didn’t find it. That made me wonder how effective this will be if specifics aren’t incorporated about requiring data formats that are more amenable for manipulation. Yes, I know that many tools exist for scraping and extracting structureRead… Read more »

Should Local Governments Rely on Facebook for Public Communications?

Back when social media were just getting popular I was a strong supporter for government use especially in times of crisis or emergency. Going “where the people” are seemed a simple justification for why a government agency might want to use Facebook. Facebook is relatively cheap to get started, it provides a standardized platform, itRead… Read more »