Cloud Computing and Citizen Involvement

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    Henry Brown

    Title: Citizen Enabled Open Government (CEOG)


    following White Paper describes at the conceptual level a “Citizen Enabled Open Government” which is virtual, agile and adaptive in responding to citizen needs. It describes how citizens will be able to use data to create blended suites of government services to seamlessly navigate major “life cycle” eveThis paper is not a prescriptive “how to” cookbook for achieving that goal, brather is intended to foster a dialogue within the service provider communregarding developing a common vision of a collaborative path forward.

    A federal government more responsive to citizens would embrace cloud computing as an enabling technology, says a newly-available white paper from the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council. ACT-IAC seeks to advise government on industry perspectives in a vendor-neutral manner.

    “News Story” from

    The white paper envisions a world, possible perhaps 15 years from now, in which citizens have access to self-service opportunities “far beyond current approaches” and can easily retrieve their federally-collected data on mobile devices located anywhere in the world.

    That’s very much unlike today, the paper states, a place where citizens unsurprisingly “experience frustration when they must interface separately with many government agencies” in part due to erroneous or conflicting data about them stored in many disparate information technology systems.

    “The logical solution is the familiar ‘enter once/multiple use’ single point of data entry cascading across the network,” the paper states.

    Getting there requires cloud computing so that agencies can indeed share common networked computer resources. The elasticity of server provisioning in the cloud computing model also allows resources to be quickly allocated to sudden high priority applications, the paper notes.

    However, widespread federal access to citizen data does have implications that need addressing, the paper warns. “There will be serious cultural issues related to what citizens will consider the appropriate amount of information for government to have.”

    Data meant for use in one context could become re-purposed out of context, leading to “inappropriate conclusions,” the paper states.

    The paper suggests that the General Services Administration could assume a new role in government by establishing a “services center of excellence” that would take the lead in establishing standards (methodologies, tools, metadata, information sharing profiles, etc.) and creating a common environment for shared services. The Office of Management and Budget could promote cross-agency utilization of services through the budget process, the paper adds.

    The paper was written by the IAC enterprise architecture shared interest group.

    download pdf file

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