Government

Top 5 misconceptions about open source in government programs

open source in government programs

On March 15, 2013, ComputerWeekly.com, the “leading provider of news, analysis, opinion, information and services for the UK IT community” published an article by Bryan Glick entitled: Government mandates 'preference' for open source. The article focuses on the release of the UK’s new Government Service Design Manual, which, from April 2013, will provide governing standards for the online services developed by the UK’s government for public consumption.

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A directory for open data projects

Open Data Directory

Open (government) data as it is understood nowadays can still be considered a new concept. It started to gain traction worldwide since the Obama memo in early 2009 and the launch of data.gov a few months later. Following successful leading examples of the US and UK governments we have seen open data flourishing all over the world over the last three years. About three hundred open data catalogues have been identified so far.

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Default to open data: an Executive Order

transparency in government

Last week, The White House published an Executive Order by which the default method for government data collection and dissemination must now be: » Read more

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Open data: Meaningful, visual information

Heat map of Raleigh open permit data

One of the keys to a successful open data portal is to make it useful for the end user. Citizens and developers should be able to understand data sets without needing a PhD. I've been following the progress of Raleigh, North Carolina's open data initiative, which launched a beta of their data.raleighnc.gov portal in March 2013. » Read more

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Open source Python-based Freedom of Information platform

government vending machine

I’m happy to announce the Version 3 release of Froide, the open source, Python-based platform for running Freedom of Information portals: allowing you to make requests to public entities by email and track responses, as well as, customize your instance to fit your campaign for government transparency.

Froide has been in development for nearly two years. It has powered the FOI portal in Germany for over a year and a half and has recently been used to launch an Austrian FoI site.

Full instructions for getting started with Froide can be found here, and the source code is on Github here. This latest release comes with the latest version of the Python web framework Django 1.5 and Bootstrap 2.3. All other dependencies have also been upgraded.

Some of the major features include:

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Open Source, Open Standards 2013 conference report

Open Source, Open Standards 2013 conference report

Last week Open Source, Open Standards 2013 took place in London, an event focused on the public sector. Naturally these being two topics we’re very keen on here at OSS Watch I went along too.

Overall the key message to take away from the event was just how central to public sector IT strategy these two themes have become, and also how policy is being rapidly turned into practice, everywhere from the NHS to local government.

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Got Code? App Challenge

Citizen participation

"Got code?" is the theme of the Alameda County Apps Challenge 2013.1, the second in a series of unique day-long events designed to challenge the public to create web and mobile applications using Alameda County open data sets. The Apps Challenge will run from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at Berkeley High School, one block from the Downtown Berkeley BART. » Read more

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Solutions for government agencies to empower citizens

government and citizens

Meet Kris Trujillo, Senior Software Architect at Accela. I met Trujillo at last year's CityCamp Colorado and was curious about how Accela is advancing the open government movement with their software. I was impressed to learn about some of their solutions aimed at government agencies and how those solutions help to provide transparency into government processes and civic information. » Read more

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Open government beyond open data and transparency

a new dawn

The term "Open Government" (OG, hereafter) has been used since the 70s to refer to the effort to reduce bureaucratic opacity and open up governments to public scrutiny. Current notions of OG are thus the result of more than four decades of endeavours to increase the transparency of government actions. These efforts materialized mainly in the enactment of legislation on access to information, privacy, data protection and administrative procedures, and by creating ombudsman offices and supreme audit institutions.

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Open-DO: Open source for safety-critical systems

wavegraph

Open source is used just about everywhere, but when it comes to "safety-critical" systems, like software that flies planes or controls medical equipment, most of us assume that open source just doesn't fit the bill. The regulations and requirements are rigorous, and ill-suited to the usual "fail faster" approach of open source. » Read more

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