Friday, April 16, 2010

DHS Open Government Plan Discussion Site

I’m not sure when it exactly happened as I did not check the site yesterday, but the DHS Open Government Discussion Site has been re-opened to start the discussion process about the Plan that DHS is putting into place to help make the US Government more transparent, increase participation and collaboration, and to make the whole process more innovative. I mentioned in an earlier blog that DHS would be doing this, but they started the process earlier than anticipated. It appears that I have the honor or distinction of being the first person to post a ‘new’ idea to the site. I continue to harp on one of my key complaints about the Department (that as a whole appears to be doing a pretty decent job) and that is their lack of transparency in their regulatory processes. The Idea, Status of Regulations, is now available for voting and comments. It is interesting, and may end up being really confusing, to see that all of the Ideas that were posted to this site to aid the Department in developing their plan are still there. Those ideas are still open for comment and voting. I applaud the Department for keeping those Ideas available to the public, but it would seem to me that they should be on a separate site where their historical integrity can be maintained. Sites like this may end up being an important part of using 21st Century technology work in making government operations more efficient and responsive. I urge everyone to actively participate in this site. If there is no participation, it won’t remain around for very long.


Fred Millar said...

Re DHS asking for stakeholders to provide ideas on how to do "Open Government":
What if you had spent the last decade writing about coal mine safety issues and had basically taken the position that there was a federal regulatory agency that was genuinely designed and operated to protect miners vs. a hypocritical pretense of a protective agency -- how do you think you would feel now (with 29 dead this week) about your basic posture and the real impact your writing had had on your readers? You lived through the last 30 years of the real-life realization of the Reaganite ruling ideology: "Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem" , so you don't get a pass for being terminally and wilfully naive.
I presume the lesson is clear -- you can do some good work for chemical security, but your instinct is to buy into the establishment's proganda every time, unless the disparities are too glaring. Just for one example, take the HR 1 law on re-routing of hazmat: do you think that indicates that we have a government or that we need a government? Pretty basic question, right? How do you want to spend your time? Translation: whose side are you on?

Fred Millar said...

Hi, PJ:
I regret that particularly intemperate post, and I hope you will take it down. You undeservedly got some mis-directed anger from me at the end of a long day during which I was laboring to respond to yet more disappointing encounters with some federal agencies. We need a government, all right, but I am sorry to have written impulsively more like a Tea Partier than a committed advocate. You should not take it personally. I do benefit from your blog, as I said in a recent comment.

PJCoyle said...

For my response to both comments by Fred Millar please see:

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