In 7 Words or Less, How Ready Is Your Agency For Open Gov?

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Daniel Bevarly 9 years ago.

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  • #86637

    Steve Ressler

    As the White House readies its open government directive, GovLoop & NextGov have teamed up to ask:
    “How Ready is Your Agency for Open Gov?”. Share your thoughts below.

    Nextgov recently released a survey of federal mangers in October and found out that while most feds are open to the idea of making more government data available and asking for the public’s input, they don’t think they or their agencies are quite ready to do so. See more here.

    Visit Nextgov to see the first of a three part series on the survey’s results and come back here on GovLoop to discuss what you think the results mean.

  • #86675

    Daniel Bevarly

    How do you or NextGov define “Open Government”? Access to data?

  • #86673

    Steve Ressler

    My sense is that most agencies are not 100% ready and will be in a wait and see mode.

    This is for a couple reasons:
    -Still defining what “Open Government” truly means as a definition and practically
    -Cultural changes needed to truly create open government
    -Any new directive takes time to trickle down from the administrator into practice as the agency level.

  • #86671

    Steve Ressler


  • #86669

    Tom Vannoy

    We are strategizing how best to implement.

  • #86667

    Tom Vannoy

    Two years talking: people now talking back.

  • #86665

    Steve Ressler

    Makes sense. Wonder what the lag would be from strategizing to implementation. From early adopter agencies to mainstream agencies.

  • #86663

    Tom Vannoy

    I think one of our biggest struggles (by our I mean those that share the passion for the subject) is a generational gap at the Executive Board level. I think the groundswell is having its affect and now we have a few who get it – which is exciting. The preparation, thinking, benchmarking the rest of us have been doing all along will speed up the implementation – because we’re ready to run with it based on what others have shared about their experiences.

  • #86661

    jeff watkins

    I can attest to the generational mismatch. In our situation, we have young people who are technologically savvy, but lack the political savvy of their elders, which leads to skepticism on the older staff and frustration on the younger staff. Additionally, implementation will not go well if the organization sees itself more as a regulator versus a service provider and its constituents as customers. Many of the executive level folks see their place (in particular at the local level) as regualtory and therefore the idea of social media has no place in their world.

  • #86659

    Tom Vannoy

    Jeff – great points! Political savvy vs technological savvy. And regulator vs. service provider.

    Food for thought.

  • #86657

    Just want to acknowledge the great conversation happening on Twitter between @GovLoop and @NoelDickover that is an extension of this discussion forum. Check it out under hashtag #OpenGov

    A couple of my questions:

    Is #Gov20 and #OpenGov the same thing?

    Or is #OpenGov a subset of #Gov20 with a specific set of strategies and tactics for achievement?

  • #86655

    Not sure the generational mismatch is about technology…but in the ways each generation learned in school:

    Veterans – by the book, what others said, degrees as means to a specific end, community-oriented, but individual needs to prove value through hard work
    Boomers – by the book and learn as much as you can, those who control info win, very individualistic
    Gen X – just give me the information I need to get the job done fast, teams are alright, but I’d prefer to get it done myself
    Gen Y – do I really need to memorize/learn anything when I have ubiquitous, real-time access to everything I need to know in the palm of my hand? Everything’s in the crowd.

    This is the rub with open gov – the next generations are more comfortable with it because they were trained to be information sharers and work in teams. Boomers terrified because it means opening up and letting folks see what’s going on…the antithesis of their typical modus operandi.

    The tech is only an enabler of this reality. Open Gov is really government waking up and realizing that privacy is gone and everything we do is wide open because of the technology. “Bring it on,” I think the next generation is saying, because they’re used to operating that way.

  • #86653

    Steve Ressler

    The big Open Gov Directive will be announced today at 11am. Would love to hear people’s reactions.

  • #86651

    Dan Munz

    My take is now up at FedBlog:

    Comments welcome!

  • #86649

    Jeff Smith

    Another good source on the reality of open data in federal agencies is through a joint survey between Government Executive and the Government Business Council. Read the story on how federal managers felt at the beginning of the year about what has just come to pass.

  • #86647

    Stephen Buckley

    The “open government” community has been around since before the Web. In fact, many members were advocating for open-government online before “Web1.0”.

    So, therefore, if “Gov2.0” is defined by “Web2.0” tools (or even “Web1.0” tools), then it is still an addition to (i.e., subset of) the larger, earlier “open government” movement.

    What’s somewhat galling (at least to me) is that the late arrivals are acting like Chrisotopher Columbus who thought he discovered a “new world” that, pardon me, was already inhabited by people who he then misnamed as “Indians”.

    What percentage of self-described Gov20ers have actually read Bill Eggers’ book “Government 2.0”?

  • #86645

    Angela Sanchez

    Seven words or less? Our admin is still asking:
    “Tell me again why we’re doing this?”

  • #86643

    Warren Master

    Here’s an invitation from The Public Manager ( We’re introducing a new series for CY 2010 on agency flagship initiatives that best exemplify the benefits of the federal government’s new open government directive. I would welcome individual case illustrations, bundled vignettes representing a cross-section of examples, and/or articles focused on a challenging theme (e.g., inter-institutional/inter-governmental collaboration). The deadline for our spring 2010 issue is February 1. Let’s push this story out while interest is high!
    Warren Master, President & Editor-in-Chief, The Public Manager, [email protected]

  • #86641

    Steve Ressler

    It is interesting that Bill was pretty early on the whole trend – Gov 2.0 is a great read.

  • #86639

    Amy Bell

    Seven words: This will NOT be under seven words. I think the “Discuss Findings on GovLoop” button could actually be the most exciting part of this survey on NextGov… This could be the niche GovLoop fills… Imagine some sort of new piece of documentation of legislation, emergency management, etc, that comes out on a website. Let’s take the City of Saint Paul, since I live there.

    Here is the city of Saint Paul website. Right on the home page, you see that the City of Saint Paul has a twitter account, and a facebook account. (No GovLoop account… yet!) Navigating to both, I see that the tweets are a combination of lower to mid level government involvement… I find out that the tree was lit in Rice Park, which is pretty lower level, and I find out that there was a snow emergency announced. This matters to me more if I don’t want my car to get towed. Some are feeds from their Facebook page, some are tweeted directly.

    Back on the City wesbite…if you navigate through the “I Want To…” and click on “Find a Document” in the drowndown menu, you get to this page. a wealth of information about the kinds of things I’m going to call upper level citizen involvement. Right on this page there could be a GovLoop button, and some kind of call to discuss these documents on GovLoop. Document discussion on this level isn’t the sort of thing their facebook page or their twitter feed are really set up to do. Those have a very light tone… new Butterfly exhibit, that sort of thing.

    Okay, what if not only were there a link to govloop right by facebook and twitter, but one of the City’s tweets was: “New document available on Emergency Management”, or “New City Council Budget review posted” and it linked to the document, and then there was the GovLoop button for people to click if they wanted to comment on it?

    I think GovLoop could fill a niche right in between the facebook level of government, and the City website.

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