Obama memo: Transparency and Open Government

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On January 21, US President Barack Obama published a memo called “Transparency and Open Government.” In it he makes many good points, but particularly note

  • “Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing.”
  • “Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions.”
  • “Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government.”

Things to think about:

  • How do these ideas apply to national standards bodies, both in the US and elsewhere?
  • Substituting “Standards” for “Government,” you get a good sense of what open standards advocates have been strenuously arguing for the last few years.
  • “Openness” is a general movement, not just related to open source and standards. That said, openness intersects many areas and it doesn’t take a big leap to go from discussions about open government to procurement policies for IT based on open standards.
  • What might these mean in your country?

Also see Irving Wladawsky-Berger’s blog entry on the memo.


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