The following is part of a special series of policy briefs by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars running until inauguration day. This piece, written by Commons Lab Early Career Scholar Zachary Bastian, tackles the need for reform in federal information technology.
As the world has become more dependent on information technology (IT), so has the federal government and its constituencies. Leveraged effectively, technical tools can engage the public, create cost savings, and improve outcomes. These benefits are obscured by regular reminders that federal IT is fundamentally flawed. It is too big to succeed. For IT to become sustainable, the federal government must enable change in three categories: 1) embracing agile development, modular contracting, and open-source software, 2) prioritizing small business participation, and 3) shifting the federal IT culture towards education and experimentation. The adoption of these reforms is vital. The current state of federal IT undermines good work through inefficiency and waste.
- Too Big to Succeed: The Need for Federal IT Reform (disaster-net.com)
October 24, 2012
Suzanne Iacono, deputy assistant director of the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering will be featured on an InformationWeek Government Webcast, “Act on Big Data,” on Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 at 2 p.m. ET.
Iacono, who also serves as vice chair of the Big Data Senior Steering Group of the interagency Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program, will be part of a panel of experts during the webcast. In that role she will provide an update on the Obama administration’s Big Data Initiative.
Data.gov and the World Bank are joining forces to sponsor the second International Open Government Data Conference (IOGDC) to be held on July 10-12, 2012, in Washington D.C. at the World Bank Headquarters at 1818 H Street NW. The IOGDC will gather policymakers, developers, and others with a keen interest in open government data to share lessons learned, stimulate new ideas, and demonstrate the power of democratizing data.
The IOGDC will bring together the world’s foremost experts on open government data. From policy to technology, IOGDC promises to be filled with thoughtful, dynamic discussion around the historic opportunity presented by open government data to foster collaboration, transparency, and interactive public participation. There is no cost to attend, but preregistration is required.
The full agenda is at: http://www.data.gov/communities/conference and you can download a PDF version. The event will be web streamed live online at http://bit.ly/IOGDC-Live. You can follow and tweet about the event using the hashtag #IOGDC – there will also be daily recap featured on the World Bank Open Data Blog.
by Jose M. Alonso, World Wide Web Foundation Blog, May 24, 2012The Web Foundation is happy to share a report on the outcomes of a recent meeting of Open Government Data practitioners that took place in Brasilia on April 26th of this year. Given the increasing interest in Open Data programs around the globe, and the expectations of their implementation, the need for a critical measurement of outcomes and empirical evidence to support such measurement has become ever more important. The Web Foundation has recently begun this work by partnering with the International Development Research Center and the Berkman Center at Harvard University to host the first convening of Open Data Research (South), a gathering of 20 renowned policy-oriented academics from around the globe and representing diverse areas of expertise to develop a research agenda and network to facilitate impact measurement of Open Government Data in the Global South and developing world.Attendees worked to develop a research agenda to ensure that Open Government Data programs in the Global South meet several key outcomes, namely: that they foster greater openness, support citizens’ rights, and remain inclusive of the citizenry. Key issues of exploration included Open Data’s potential to challenge democratic deficits, create economic value and foster greater inclusion, particularly in the developing world. Full details of each day’s agenda and outcomes can be found in the full report. This is part of an ongoing process; a blog to take forward ideas from the workshop has been also opened.
For a copy of this report, visit Measuring Open Government Data.
URISA Data Policy & Amicus Brief Decision Statement E-mail
Written by URISA, 28 February 2012
February 27, 2012 (Des Plaines, IL) At its February 24, 2012 meeting, the URISA Board of Directors again considered the draft Sierra Club vs. Orange County, California amicus brief. A Board motion to sign an earlier version of the brief on February 2 failed to pass a vote.
The Board’s deliberation followed a joint URISA Board and Policy Committee conference call to discuss the Board’s February 2 decision in light of the Policy’s Committee’s recommendation to sign the brief. Glenn O’Grady, Policy Committee Chair, was invited to again discuss the matter with the Board during the February 24 meeting.
Before considering the question of signing the SC v. OC amicus brief, the Board drafted and approved the following data sharing policy that reflects URISA’s role as an international organization and the need for the organization to be aware of data policies and situations in many countries:
“It is URISA’s policy that all units of government should freely provide the means for their citizens to fully participate in their own governance by publishing and otherwise supplying geospatial data to all interested parties. URISA believes that governmental geospatial programs must be appropriately funded and that there are multiple acceptable mechanisms for such funding. Credible studies have shown that the value of geospatial data to the governmental agencies and the people they serve increases with the breadth of data sharing.”
by Patricia Moloney Figliola, Congressional Research Service, January 13, 2012
SUMMARY: In the early 1990s, Congress recognized that several federal agencies had ongoing high performance computing programs, but no central coordinating body existed to ensure long-term coordination and planning. To provide such a framework, Congress passed the High-Performance Computing and Communications Program Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-194) to enhance the effectiveness of the various programs. In conjunction with the passage of the act, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) released Grand Challenges: High-Performance Computing and Communications. That document outlined a research and development (R&D) strategy for high-performance computing and a framework for a multiagency program, the High-Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) Program. The HPCC Program has evolved over time and is now called the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program, to better reflect its expanded mission.