DOD at work on social media policy

The first day of the Open Government and Innovations Conference featured lively discussions about transparency and innovation.

On the first day of the Open Government and Innovations Conference down at the Convention Center, there was a remarkable amount of energy and excitement about the discussions over transparency and innovation. Since this was a conference the 1105 Government Information Group put on with the help of nearly a dozen partners, let me acknowledge I have a vested interest and move on to some of the takeaways.

There were interesting questions raised about the current acquisition environment and how the speed and agility the Administration is proposing fit into that structure. Vivek Kundra, the federal CIO, acknowledged that it is time to look again at procurement reform and emphasized that a building should not be acquired the same way as technology. True, but the current rules do not offer acquisition professionals that distinction. It is pretty clear that the White House is looking at policies they can change quickly—Paperwork Reduction Act, cookies policy and others.

If they get into full scale procurement reform, it could take years, with it getting backed up behind the other Obama initiatives.

Another new initiative is a DOD policy for the use of social media. Debra Filippi, director of Commercial Technology and Acquisition Portfolio Management and Enterprise Infrastructure at DOD and Tamie Lyles-Santiago, Senior Special Assistant to the DOD Deputy CIO, are working on getting the public’s views as a first step.

There are some approvals still in the wings, but the pair expects to be able to roll out a blog introducing the subject in the next several weeks. They will break the subject into several manageable parts and ask the citizens what they think is reasonable in the use of these new social networking technologies.

Based on the input they receive, they will then put together a draft policy for consideration by the powers that be. Should be a really interesting process to watch. Right now, lots of component commands have their own rules and policies, but there is not uniform guidance from the top.

The most fascinating part of the discussion today was the questions which were raised. More on that later.

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