Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Open Government – 02-16-10

It has now been four days since I first wrote about the DHS Open Government Dialogue web site and ten days since the site first opened and I have only seen one comment about security matters. And I am proud to say that the commentor is a reader from this site, though I must admit that it looks like Edward posted his comment before I mentioned the site in my blog. Edward posted a comment about what he calls Fed Fatigue; facilities having to deal with multiple security agencies because of overlapping authorities (ie: CFATS, MTSA and TSA). This is a real problem that causes both over spending on security to cover multiple, not quite duplicate requirements, as well as overspending on government program duplication. As of 10:00 pm EST tonight Edward had 11 positive votes and no comments. Another comment by wonderwits parallels a comment I made in my original blog about the evaluation tool for the publics ideas. The comment, User Response to Comments is Insufficient, made a similar suggestion to the one I made about using a scale of response instead of a binary up or down vote. Two other comments deserve positive mention here. An early comment under the Participation heading, Run more public dialogues like the Homeland Security Dialogue, made by drhonker, suggest that DHS run more public dialogues like the QHSR Dialogues; suggestion fulfilled, here is the Open Government Dialogue. Another, this time by jaorangement under the Transparency heading, DHS should live webcast all meetings, suggests that public meeting be web cast and be made available on line. This too is happening, but should be made universal. One comment that I want to give a BIG thumbs down to was suggested by cicala, also under the Transparency heading, non legitimate press. Cicala complains about “miss information spread by web press sites” which leads to anarchy and confuses the American public. Since I would probably be included in the ‘non-legitimate’ press, I strongly protest, claiming the infamous mantle of ‘free press’. And I proudly share that mantel with all of the 'idiots' [sarcastic grins] with whom I disagree. DHS has taken care of the “very lengthy, wandering documents that provide little in the way of useable suggestions” that I complained about in my initial blog. Instead of deleting them, they avoided the charge of censorship by moving the comments to an “Off-Topics” page. There are now 99 off-topic comments vs 45 on-topic ideas; actually a pretty good ratio in my experience. It is kind of sad that there have only been 45 constructive comments in ten days from across the country. Oops, before I complain about that, maybe I need to get a comment or two posted. Watch the Open Homeland Security page tomorrow. But then, you know that I will talk about it here.

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