Opening Government Easier Said Than Done

Federal government entities are supposed to be "opening" their data, publishing it online for any and all to see. While the goal is good, the reality of meeting the requirement is creating problems.
December 9, 2010, 12pm PST | Nate Berg
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Next American City columnist Christian Madera looks at how the directive is playing out on the ground.

"[T]he Obama administration published its Open Government Directive one year ago this month, calling on the federal government to become more transparent, participatory and collaborative. Since then, there has been an explosion of new open government efforts around the country-not only at the federal level, but at the state and local level as well-and a number of agencies and cities have successfully created public data catalogs, developed new web and mobile apps, and embraced social media.

Yet, if you spend any time with folks working in the open government movement, you can't help but feel that the overall mood is less jubilant. Last year's excitement has given way to the reality of making open government actually work - a task that has turned out not to be as easy as some thought."

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Published on Wednesday, December 8, 2010 in Next American City
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