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CTG Web News Volume XIV, Issue 12
Sent: Tue, 12 Jul 2011 15:27:00 EST

WHY OPEN GOVERNMENT MATTERS? | GOVERNING

In the July 2011 issue of GOVERNING magazine, CTG's Meghan Cook discusses "Why Open Government Matters?" with GOVERNING's Executive Editor, Steve Towns. Here's an excerpt:

“We know open government matters, but the question we kept hearing was, ‘How does it matter?’” says Meghan Cook, program manager with the University of Albany’s Center for Technology in Government (CTG). “There are limited resources to do open government, so business cases are being built -- but not all of them have the strongest financial business case because that’s not really what it’s about.”

In May, CTG released a tool designed to help government leaders make better decisions on open government investments. The Open Government Portfolio Public Value Assessment Tool -- PVAT for short -- goes beyond typical return on investment analysis to measure the social, political, strategic and government-integrity value of open government initiatives.

OPEN GOVERNMENT AND E-GOVERNMENT: Democratic Challenges from a Public Value Perspective

Teresa Harrison, CTG Faculty Fellow and Professor, UAlbany Department of Communications, presented a paper on open government at the 12th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.o 2011).

The paper, "Open Government and E-Government: Democratic Challenges from a Public Value Perspective," considers open government (OG) within the context of e-government and its broader implications for the future of public administration. It argues that the current US Administration’s Open Government Initiative blurs traditional distinctions between e-democracy and e-government by incorporating historically democratic practices, now enabled by emerging technology, within administrative agencies. The paper considers how transparency, participation, and collaboration function as democratic practices in administrative agencies, suggesting that these processes are instrumental attributes of administrative action and decision making, rather than the objective of administrative action, as they appear to be currently treated. It proposes alternatively that planning and assessing OG be addressed within a “public value” framework.

A SUMMARY ACTIVITY REPORT | An Open Government Research and Development Agenda Setting Workshop

The Open Government Research and Development Agenda Setting Workshop was sponsored and conducted by a collaborative team from the Center for Technology in Government (CTG), the Tetherless World Constellation (TWC) at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, the Institute for Law and Policy (IILP) at New York Law School, and Civic Commons. It was organized to outline a research agenda focused on opening up, federating, and using data to improve the lives of citizens. This activity report is an account of the contributions made at the workshop. Following the release of this activity report, we will focus on the analysis of the results working toward a set of recommendations and action steps.

OPEN GOVERNMENT VIDEO

In June 2011, CTG partnered with SobelMedia to sponsor, "A Dialogue on Opening Government Through Technology: Can Open Data Drive Innovation?" at Internet Week in New York City. For the event, CTG presented a short video overview on open government. CTG would like to thank Working Pictures, an Albany, NY based, video production company who generously donated their production services for the making of this video.