This group is devoted to identifying and gathering information about legal impediments to the adoption of Government 2.0. The long term goal is draft legislation and policies to eliminate the legal impediments.
Identifying Some Issues to Start With
May 28, 2009 at 6:56 pm #72812
I’ll start the discussion to stary identifying some of the legal impediments we’re discussing at our local county government, including State Records Retention Laws, State Freedom of Information Laws, and of course the First Amendment. Anyone else come across anything that needs to be added to the list?
May 28, 2009 at 8:10 pm #72839
I have heard that Open Meeting/Sunshine laws can come into play. I also have heard the Paper Work Reduction Act (or whatever it is called) at the Federal level.
May 28, 2009 at 8:24 pm #72837
Are we talking about things like Section 508 compliance and the like? This is a great group and a question that I am being asked to address for the Boston Federal Executive Board on June 22 in a Web 2.0 workshop. Glad you’ve started it, Gray!
May 28, 2009 at 8:33 pm #72835
Sorry Andrew, but credit to starting the Group goes to Brian Gryth. I just posed the first discussion topic. There are a lot of folks out there (especially at the State and Local level) who are still confused about what the law actually entails and requires them to do to be in compliance. As for 508, that’s a great topic also. I personally like how Jeff Levy has addressed 508 accessibilty for the EPA, which is pretty much “as long as the same info is accessible somewhere on the site,” means that not every single page and web 2.0 component has to strictly conform to 508.
Jeff – if you join the group or get wind of this, drop me a note or post a comment correcting me if I’ve mis-spoken on this.
May 28, 2009 at 9:56 pm #72832
To follow up on what Gray mentioned, Jeff Levy has posted some resources in identifying issues and proposing solutions – at least form a federal level [including 508 compliance]. I am uploading the copy I received from Geoff, but you can also access it via the Federal Web Managers Council. I do not know of a similar doc at the State/local level. I assume that is something that perhaps this group can put together…?
May 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm #72830
Thanks for the post on Potential Solutions. A large part of the issue at the local and state level is education.
June 1, 2009 at 4:52 pm #72828
Mark Van AlstyneParticipant
I would also like to add state security statutes and poliicies as a possible impediment, which I see in the document Rob posted.
July 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm #72826
For the federal government, choice of law and indemnity clauses in standard contracts can be real sticking points. There are also potential procurement issues (is selection of a provider a “procurement” requiring competition?), favoring one vendor over another, and avoiding commercialization of the government’s web presence.
July 2, 2009 at 1:59 pm #72824
Thanks for this one Jim. I hadn’t thought about the procurement issue before. I will say that choice of legal venue/arbitration and indemnity are even “stickier” at the local level than the Federal level, mostly because we don’t have as big a stick to wave as Uncle Sam.
July 7, 2009 at 7:48 pm #72822
I saw on another list that someone had concerns about Procurement laws, especially getting “something (Web 2.0 Service) for nothing” and how that leans toward sponsorship or santioning one service over another.
Has anyone else come across this concern? How would you handle it if Facebook or Twitter started charging for their services? Would you have to go out to bid or issue a Request for Proposal? How would you then start to place value on Facebook vs Google’s Orkut, or similar services…?
August 4, 2009 at 2:17 pm #72820
Record retention and public records requests are a huge issue for this local government attorney. Since the data reside on the servers of the social media provider, how do we insure that the data is being retained? If Facebook or Twitter cease to exist, what happens to the data? If we get a records request, how quickly can we get the data to respond?
Open meeting laws are also a concern. In Florida it just takes two county commissioners or city councilman make a meeting. If they become friends through facebook, the inadvertant exchange of opinions on a matter going before a board or council could easily take place.
August 6, 2009 at 3:12 am #72818
August 6, 2009 at 2:18 pm #72816
Thanks for the article. This is an example of why the lawyers are so cautious about social media. It’s a wonderful tool when used appropriately, but can also be a tool to circumvent open government.
August 6, 2009 at 7:40 pm #72814
Carol A. SpencerParticipant
For Twitter, we use Tweetake.com. Once a week, I download everything for MorrisCountyNJ and store it on the server in a Twitter Backup folder. We also use YouTube and are just starting with Scribd.com. We store the original documents / videos that we uploaded. Where possible, we block comments so we don’t have to worry about having those for OPRA (NJ Open Public Records) requests. We’re not on FB yet, so I haven’t investigated ways to capture comments, bus I suspect there’s something out there already.
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