DHS debuts open government suggestion box

OpenHomelandSecurity tool seeks ideas on how department can be more transparent

The Homeland Security Department has launched an online tool to gather ideas about how it can be more transparent to meet requirements of the Obama administration's Open Government Directive.

The OpenHomelandSecurity tool came online Feb. 6 as a way for people to suggest ideas on how the department can be more open, and to let people discuss and vote on submitted ideas. Suggestions are being sought until March 19. 

The directive, issued Dec. 8, 2009, gave agencies 60 days to set up an open government Web page that would let the public provide input about which information they should prioritize for publication, and to provide input on their open government plans.


Related story:

Game changer: Open Government Directive puts new onus on agencies


DHS’ tool, managed by the General Services Administration in partnership with IdeaScale, is similar to the portals that many agencies have launched with GSA and IdeaScale as part of their efforts to meet the administration’s open government requirements.

As of this afternoon there were a total of 39 comments posted under OpenHomelandSecurity's topic areas of Transparency, Participation, Collaboration, Innovation, and Helping Us Improve This Dialog Site. Meanwhile, officials had moved an additional 55 comments and ideas to its “Off-topic Ideas Portal” for ideas that don’t directly relate to the Open Government Directive.

DHS officials have been encouraging people to submit ideas. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano posted an online message dated Feb. 5 and Chris Cummiskey, chief of staff of DHS’ Management Directorate, posted a message Feb. 9 on the department’s online Leadership Journal about the effort.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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