Sebelius outlines open government projects

Initiatives include a CDC Web site and YouTube video contest

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is promoting her department’s Web-based collaborative space for public health employees and two other programs as examples of the Barack Obama administration’s open government approach in action.

President Obama signed a Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government on his first day in office to make federal agencies more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. The White House on Dec. 8 issued an Open Government Directive. Sebelius said HHS has created three programs to respond.

One of the programs is IdeaLab, a Web-based peer-to-peer program that serves as a clearinghouse for collaboration for employees of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a news release issued Dec. 10.

IdeaLab is open and transparent, and anyone working at CDC can post an idea or request help with a project, and then other CDC employees can post their comments. No anonymous postings are allowed.

In another HHS program, more than 250 videos were submitted for the HHS competition to create a public service announcement on swine flu prevention on YouTube. The public voted on the 10 finalists, and the winning video was featured on national television, according to the department.

The third open government project allows HHS biomedical programs to offer real-time information streaming on the Web about technologies available for licensing. The data on the technologies is being supplied by the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. The effort also is part of a broader federal collaboration to allow the public to better access information on publicly funded technologies available for license.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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