CSO Recommendations

These recommendations were provided to the administration on 1 Dec 2011 and are expected to form the basis of the evaluation OTG is administering. Please add your comments to them below.

Black are the commitments from the US NAP.

  • Green are the CSO recommendations.

3.3 Encourage Communication between Government Officials and Citizen-Experts

In many cases, those who work in government turn to those outside for advice and support. But too often, officials know only a subset of relevant experts or need to find experts in a new area. To overcome these hurdles, the U.S. will:

• Launch ExpertNet. This platform will enable government officials to better communicate with citizens who have expertise on a pertinent topic. It will give members of the public an opportunity to participate in a public consultation relevant to their areas of interest and knowledge, and allow officials to pose questions to and interact with the public in order to receive useful information.

  • Enable the participation and open government communities to influence the platform before it is created.  For instance, the White House might distribute product strategy documents, mockups, specs or roadmaps and ask for public input, or hold a facilitated meeting with public participation and deliberation communities.
  • Ensure that ExpertNet meaningfully explains to participants how their contributions are used, including updating participants on how their input was applied.
  • Require lobbyists and foreign agents participating in ExpertNet to disclose their identity and status, and participants with conflicts of interest should disclose those conflicts.

• Additional Steps to Encourage Communication between Government Officials and Citizen-Experts

  • Ethics.gov is a high priority of this administration but has stalled, although the Office of Government Ethics is working on a website to make various key ethics data publicly accessible and could serve as a down payment.  A robust Ethics.gov website still must be created. The administration has worked on various approaches to disclosure in the aftermath of the Citizens United and other Supreme Court decisions, but nothing has been put in place for the next election cycle.  There is a need to revisit the effectiveness of the 2-year ban on Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) lobbyists working for the administration and the use of waivers.