Ellen Perlman was a GOVERNING staff writer and technology columnist.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
President Barack Obama signed a memo last week on government transparency. Even before he has named a chief technology officer, he's directed that person to work with the Office of Management and Budget director to develop an "Open Government Directive" over the next 120 days.
"It's the first public acknowledgement of the CTO job and what a CTO is expected to do," says Aneesh Chopra, Virginia's secretary of technology and a member of the transition team called Technology, Innovation and Government Reform or TIGR, which offered expertise to the incoming administration over the past few months.
"He's got a goal. What does it mean for the technology community," Chopra asks. "It's interesting.
The president asked government agencies to employ new technology to explain their decisions and keep citizens informed.
Obama seems to be all about transparency and technology (seems the White House security people couldn't pry the BlackBerry out of his hands as hoped. See this.)
Openness, the presidential memo states, "will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government." His administration, he promises, will work on ensuring the public trust and "establish a system of transparency, public participation and collaboration."
Many CIO's I know are hoping that that public participation and collaboration part includes state and local governments input on technology.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.