Government 2.0


GSA pulls the plug on GovGab; POGO meets POTUS

After a four-year run, the General Services Administration put the final nail in the coffin of its GovGab blog by shutting down its Twitter account today.

“This account is no longer active,” the GSA GovGab account tweeted around 1 pm today.

GovGab was created in 2007 to provide aggregated news items aimed at consumers from multiple federal agencies including NASA, USDA, Health and Human Services Department and the Federal Trade Commission.

The GSA shut down GovGab and folded its archives into the USA.gov Blog in February.

In a March 8 article, GovGab was given a “Dishonorable Mention” by Federal Computer Week’s Michael Hardy in a feature on federal blogs. While he described GovGab as “chatty and fun,” he said it lacked mission focus. “We’re not quite sure what its purpose is, but educating and informing people about GSA’s work doesn't seem to be part of it. Is this really a good use of public funds?” Hardy wrote.

In other news, Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, wrote a fascinating first-person account of her meeting at the Oval Office this week with President Barack Obama and other open government advocates.

Obama ushered in the group with a joke about making sure the visitors disclose all their names in the White House visitors’ log. But Brian goes on to have a serious discussion about whistleblower protections and describes her “dream moment” in her conversation with the chief executive.

Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Mar 30, 2011 at 7:25 PM0 comments


Federal agencies still fall short on transparency, watchdog says

Even federal agencies that get high scores for open government efforts aren't regularly posting their visitor logs, calendars, lobbyist visits, congressional testimony, inspector general reports and other information, according to a new audit from OpentheGovernment.org.

The transparency advocacy group looked at 10 agencies that it rated highest for their open government activities overall, including the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, Social Security Administration, NASA, and the Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, Justice and Transportation departments.

The March 14 audit found that agency disclosures were inconsistent.

“The results of this limited audit show the Administration has its work cut out for it to go meet this goal,” the group said. “Even at the agencies perceived to be among the leaders in transparency, the public has no consistent access to the type of information it needs to understand how and why public policy decisions are formed, and hold decision makers accountable for their actions.”

In other Gov 2.0 news:

  • Former White House Deputy CTO Beth Noveck gives a four-part interview to Asia Pacific FutureGov to talk about her experiences as director of White House open government initiatives from March 2009 to January 2011. She is a professor at New York Law School.
  • The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is seeking input from the public as well as researchers for its new strategic plan. Ideas can be submitted on the Web through this link.
  • Entries are due on March 31 for the National Library of Medicine’s online video contest. In a short video, show how the national library has changed your life.


Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Mar 28, 2011 at 7:25 PM0 comments


Agencies coordinate efforts to get Japan info out with special web code

Several federal agencies are coordinating their efforts to create and label new websites devoted to the Japanese crisis by adopting a common “japan2011” suffix for those sites.

To date, the Energy, Health and Human Services, and State departments as well as the Environmental Protection Agency have created new websites devoted to the Japanese disaster by adding the “japan2011” suffix.

For example, one of the sites is EPA.gov/japan2011, which is a page headlined “Japanese Nuclear Emergency” containing radiation facts and radiation-related Web links.

At Energy.gov/japan2011, there is a recent blog entry with a video presentation by Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczkon along with a senior Energy official.

At State.gov/japan2011, there was information updated on March 17 with advice about concerns for specific U.S. citizens in Japan. The HHS.gov/japan2011 website provides a fact sheet on health care response in Japan as well as links to HHS resources.

Sources said the USA.gov/japan2011 would be operating within days as well. The USA.gov website is the central portal for all federal agencies.

In related news, the U.S. Navy is hosting Japan disaster-related information on at least nine Facebook pages sponsored by several fleet commanders as well as the Chief of Naval operations.

For example, on March 17, the U.S. 7th Fleet Facebook page posted photographs of sailors moving food and water onto a helicopter as part of the Japanese relief effort.

Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Mar 21, 2011 at 7:25 PM0 comments


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