FCW Insider

Blog archive

FCW Insider: White House posts bill for public review, stealth comments

The Obama administration has followed through on its promise, technically speaking, to post legislation online for review and comment before the president signs it.

Obama's first case study in e-democracy is the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (better known as the State Children's…). The Senate recently approved the bill and the House is expected to follow suit, so the administration has begun soliciting feedback.

The catch is this: Although users are free to submit comments online, they cannot see what other people have already written. That approach, while easier to manage, certainly dilutes the impact of social networking as a way to engage the public.

Ideally, Web 2.0 technology fosters a broad conversation among interested parties, in which participants build on or debate the merits of each other's ideas. That's the key to tapping into the "wisdom of the crowd."

By not publishing comments, the White House pretty much short-circuits the online conversation, reducing it to numerous one-on-one exchanges.

One can only hope that the new director of citizen participation, Katie Jacobs Stanton, will tackle this issue as soon as possible.
 

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Feb 02, 2009 at 12:14 PM


Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.