One hand clapping

As the curtain comes down on the Open Government Initiative's opening night, we figured it was time to hear from the critics. The reviews are decidedly mixed.

Barack Obama, now six months into his presidency, has led a fairly charmed existence. The honeymoon glow might be over, especially among bedrock conservatives who never liked him in the first place. But the infatuation lingers even as his policies on health care, climate control and government spending encounter varying blocs of resistance.

Part of this president’s ongoing charm, of course, is that he really does seem interested in hearing — and contemplating — all points of view. That openness to debate has a way of disarming many critics who are more used to shoving and shouting their way into the conversation.

Hewing to a public-engagement theme, the Obama administration has launched an unprecedented campaign to solicit opinions, practical advice and actual policy language from the public at large. The Open Government Initiative has now gone through its first live run — a three-part public-engagement exercise in ... well, how to engage the public in the exercise of government. (Applause here.)

As the curtain comes down on OGI’s opening night, we figured it was time to hear from the critics. Editor-at-Large John Stein Monroe sought out three experts to critique the initiative from their respective professional perspectives: technology and tools, policy-making, and grass-roots involvement.

As you’ll see, their reviews were decidedly mixed. But that’s probably a good thing. Public participation in government is a national work in progress — 220 years and counting, by my reckoning.

Obama might not win an Oscar for this particular performance. But then, it’s an honor just to be nominated.

About the Author

David Rapp is editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week and VP of content for 1105 Government Information Group.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • Social network, census

    5 predictions for federal IT in 2017

    As the Trump team takes control, here's what the tech community can expect.

  • Rep. Gerald Connolly

    Connolly warns on workforce changes

    The ranking member of the House Oversight Committee's Government Operations panel warns that Congress will look to legislate changes to the federal workforce.

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers his inaugural address

    How will Trump lead on tech?

    The businessman turned reality star turned U.S. president clearly has mastered Twitter, but what will his administration mean for broader technology issues?

  • Login.gov moving ahead

    The bid to establish a single login for accessing government services is moving again on the last full day of the Obama presidency.

  • Shutterstock image (by Jirsak): customer care, relationship management, and leadership concept.

    Obama wraps up security clearance reforms

    In a last-minute executive order, President Obama institutes structural reforms to the security clearance process designed to create a more unified system across government agencies.

  • Shutterstock image: breached lock.

    What cyber can learn from counterterrorism

    The U.S. has to look at its experience in developing post-9/11 counterterrorism policies to inform efforts to formalize cybersecurity policies, says a senior official.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group