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ICTs & Information Policy: Relationships Between Government & Society

This coupling of reports provides an overview of Information Policy as part of the governance context of ICT initiatives and programs. Information Policy is presented as rules, laws, procedures and other forms of regulation that deal with the stewardship and use of information in the government context. The selected readings lay the foundation to these concepts and how they may be used to help formulate open government programs and open data initiatives. Thinking about Information Policy from a public value proposition and stakeholder analysis is the foundation of this perspective.

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The Dynamics of Opening Government Data
The information polity perspective described in this paper provides government a way to identify the various stakeholders and their patterns of interaction that influence or control the generation, flows, and uses of enhanced information resources in open data initiatives. The dynamic modeling techniques used highlight the ways different constraints can impact the system as a whole and affect value creation. These tools support planners' ability to generate informed hypotheses about changing patterns of interaction among existing and potential new stakeholders. In this way, governments can better evaluate the costs, risks, and benefits of a wide variety of open data initiatives.

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Delivering Public Value Through Open Government
The Obama Administration’s Open Government Directive raised to prominence the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration as “the cornerstone of an open government.” What lies at the heart of the open government vision is broader access to government data and creating new opportunity for citizens to contribute expertise and perspectives to government decision making. What is not yet clear is what types of value can be delivered and to whom through transparency, participation, and collaboration focused initiatives. While these three open government principles resonate in familiar and positive ways, it is not obvious how government agencies can best create new systems and services organized around them and ultimately deliver desired and measurable benefits to government and non-government stakeholders.

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Stewardship and Usefulness: Policy Principles for Information-based Transparency
This paper is a conceptual and empirical exploration of the tensions inherent in the drive to increase openness and transparency in government by means of information access and dissemination. The idea that democratic governments should be open, accessible, and transparent to the governed is receiving renewed emphasis through the combination of government reform efforts and the emergence of advanced technology tools for information access. Although these initiatives are young, they already exhibit daunting complexity, with significant management, technology, and policy challenges. A variety of traditional and emerging information policy frameworks offer guidance, while diverse research perspectives highlight both challenges to and opportunities for promoting information-based transparency. Early experience with Data.gov, a central component of the U.S. Open Government Initiative, suggests that two fundamental information policy principles, stewardship and usefulness, can help guide and evaluate efforts to achieve information-based transparency.

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Making Smart IT Choices: Understanding Value and Risk in Government IT Investments
IT innovation is risky business in every organization. In the complex public sector environment, these risks are even greater. This handbook is designed to help any government manager evaluate IT innovations before deciding (with greater confidence) to make a significant investment.