Government

Open source by default?

open government

"Over the last ten years, open source has become unremarkable. I think that’s a great achievement. We no longer argue about whether it’s secure or not, or whether it’s safe to use. We focus now on how best to use open source to get the best value for every tax dollar," said Gunnar Hellekson, Chief Technology Strategist for Red Hat’s US Public Sector Group.

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The five elements of an open source city

open source city

How can you apply the concepts of open source to a living, breathing city? An open source city is a blend of open culture, open government policies, and economic development.

I derived these characteristics based on my experiences and while writing my book, The foundation for an open source city.

Characteristics such as collaboration, participation, transparency, rapid prototyping, and many others can be applied to any city that wants to create an open source culture. Let's take a look at these characteristics in more detail. » Read more

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Driving innovation with open source

FutureGov event report

On May 22, eighteen senior officials from the Singapore Government gathered at the FutureGov lunch briefing Open Source, Open Government—to discuss how open source technology can drive openness and innovation in the public sector.

The senior IT decision makers attending the event were from agencies such as the Ministry of Health, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, Land Transport Authority, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Prime Minister’s Office, Singapore Management University, and the Ministry of Communications and Information, among others. » Read more

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Checkbook NYC advances civic open source

planning for open source release in government

New York City Comptroller John Liu is about to do something we need to see more often in government. This week, his office is open sourcing the code behind Checkbook NYC, the citywide financial transparency site—but the open-sourcing itself is not what I'm referring to. After all, lots of governments open source code these days.

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Hacking the change you want to see

hacking for change in open government

On June 1, the City of Oakland will co-host ReWrite Oakland as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. ReWrite Oakland will be an all day writeathon that will culminate with the launch of a new website called "Oakland Answers," based on last year’s Code for America project "Honolulu Answers."

Oakland Answers will be citizen-focused website, written in plain-language, that makes it quick and simple for people to find City information and services they are looking for online. City staff and the community will collaborate to answer common questions generated by citizens.

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The Dave and Gunnar Show: Episode 10, Go Ugly Early

The Dave and Gunnar Show podcast

The Dave and Gunnar Show is a new podcast series talking about government, open source, and a sprinkling of Red Hat projects. I recently discovered it and thought the opensource.com audience might enjoy it too. What do you think?

Episode 10, Go Ugly Early particulary struck me. Give it a listen: » Read more

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Thoughts on the White House Executive Order on open data

open data across US parties

As those steeped in the policy wonk geekery of open data are likely already aware, last Thursday the President of the United States issued an Executive Order Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information. » Read more

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Civic coding strengthens open source skills

civic hacking in government

I’ve been thinking a bit too much lately about GitHub and Drupal.org. More broadly, I’ve had my mind on open source + community. Sometimes this is called social coding.

Social coding can take on a variety of shapes and sizes but is short-hand for what I can describe as loosely coupled, sometimes geographically distributed collaboration and coordination around open source projects. Civic coding is a form of social coding focused on municipal projects. Civic coding is a big part of what we do in the Brigade and why we’re running The Great American Civic Hack this summer.

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Transparency Camp event report and review of new tools

Transparency Camp event report

I got bitten at camp this weekend, but indifference would have been the only relevant repellant and thankfully, I'm allergic to that. Here's what I learned as a first-time camper.

Transparency Camp is not for the faint of heart. It requires you to dig in deep.

If you are a tech expert, like Northeast Ohio's own Jeff Schuler, you look for how to apply everything you know to figuring out ways to free data.

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Impact of open by default on local government

open by default in local government

Recently there has been a lot of buzz around the release of the White House’s new Open Data Policy in Memorandum M-13-13.

For those of you that may not have read the memorandum in its entirety it directs federal agencies to make all data open and machine readable by default. Obviously there are caveats to that. Agencies can redact data that does not meet disclosure standards regarding security and privacy. The excitement centers around the language of open by default.

What impact does this have on open data initiatives at the municipal level, and as the Open Data Program Manager for the City of Raleigh, NC, I ask myself: How does this affect Open Raleigh?

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