There are many outdated laws or irrelevant practices in our government, including laws prohibiting bear wrestling in the great state of Alabama or the nearly $440 million wasted on printing redundant documents (as of 2009). In a constantly evolving government, a lot of things need to change and they don’t always change at a rate that keeps pace with the times.
The Executive Office of the President and the General Services Administration is working to increase the rate of change by introducing the National Dialogue on the Federal Mobility Strategy that launched just this week. It is an effort spurred by Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel who has called for a mobile strategy for the Federal government in order to “improve services to citizens, engage citizens in government, reduce costs, and increase employee productivity.”
Already ideas are pouring in order to make the suggestion deadline of January 20th (just a week left, people) with suggestions as diverse as creating a Federal mobile virtual network to developing a shared services catalog. Anyone can join the discussion in hopes of contributing to the overall strategy, which will be drafted in 60 days and in place for deployment within 180 days. You can find out more about the initiative here.
What’s nice about crowdsourcing ideas and suggestions for our government is that it is one of our most recent developments that allows for online democracy – anyone can put their ideas on the IdeaScale platform and vote immediately for the ones that make the most sense to them. In a country where every voice counts and every vote is another chance to influence your government, there really isn’t a better (current) model for public dialogue than online idea management. That’s why IdeaScale has worked with a number of different government projects including the 2011 President’s SAVE Award and Open OSTP.
Do you think crowdsourcing is one of the best reflections of modern democracy? What would you contribute to the new Federal Mobile strategy?