Every month, I’ve been writing a “Backtalk” column for Federal Computer Week, collecting and coalescing the best conversations on GovLoop. The latest piece addresses the impact of the mid-term elections on Open Government efforts. Here are a few snippets:
“Will the midterm election close down open government?” That was the question my GovLoop colleague Stephen Peteritas asked a couple of weeks ago.
Alex Howard, the Gov 2.0 correspondent at O’Reilly Media, responded by saying a Republican takeover of the House — which in fact happened — would lead “the Oversight Committee to be active under Rep. Issa. If that comes to fruition, that aspect of [the Open Government Initiative] will be ramped up, along with closer examination of open-government efforts at the agencies or the work of OMB’s IT team.
Daniel Honker, an analyst at the National Academy of Public Administration, agreed with Howard, but added that “there’s a big difference between ‘transparency’ meaning oversight and anti-corruption and ‘transparency’ as a means to improve services and delivery. The former is often wielded as a political tool while the latter can take a long time to build and is much more a function of good management than politics.”
“…open-government strategist John Moore focused on the anti-corruption issue from the perspective of monitoring legislators. He cited the Congress app the Sunlight Foundation created for Android phones and IBM’s Many Bills application as examples of tools that enable people to keep tabs on the legislative activities of their elected representatives.