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The Kansas KLISS : Reinventing participative e-democracy, one Cloud at a time

Although there is lots of social media activity around government, technically speaking it’s currently more just ‘Gov 1.5′ rather than ‘Gov 2.0′.

This is because while there is more interaction online, via blogs and twitter et al, the core processes themselves are still entirely decentralized, in terms of the decision-making model that determines who actually decides what laws.

Ie. we’re simply moving an old process on to a new technology, we’re not yet creating a new process.

Open Government 2.0

It’s not until we apply “crowdsourcing” to the process itself and make it entirely Open can we call it Government 2.0. A headline example of this is Beth Noveck’s Peer to Patent project which does so for the patent application workflow.

The new ‘KLISS’ project in Kansas is so exciting because it’s applying the same transformation to the very core of government itself, the law-making process.

As described in the presentation from Sean McGrath of Propylon, and his presentation ‘Re-inventing participative Democracy, one Cloud at a time‘, Kansas is deploying a new Cloud-based application that will reinvent the legislation process for the Kansas Legislature.

CIO Don Heiman explains in this video the logic behind the project, including the critical point about a ‘Legacy 2 Cloud‘ reason: Their key system was a mainframe which they could no longer support because the only expert retired!

Before this migration to Cloud computing there process consisted of cutting out pieces of paper and glueing them to the current bill being debated. Wow.

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