White House Extends Collaboration

The White House apparently has listened to the public's request for more collaboration in drafting recommendations for an open government directive after <a href="http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20090529_2525.php">drawing flack</a> for a short brainstorming session in May. The administration this week began the third and final phase of a <a href="http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20090521_4542.php">public process</a> aimed at creating a more transparent, collaborative and participatory government.

The White House apparently has listened to the public's request for more collaboration in drafting recommendations for an open government directive after drawing flack for a short brainstorming session in May. The administration this week began the third and final phase of a public process aimed at creating a more transparent, collaborative and participatory government.

Sunday was to have marked the deadline for writing draft recommendations, but now citizens can continue submitting proposals on a wiki - a Web page that allows anyone to add or edit content -- through July 3.

Allegations of "transparency theater" arose when White House officials held a weeklong brainstorming session that fell on the Memorial Day holiday weekend to generate loose topics.

"A number of you have told us that there is great excitement about the drafting process in your communities, but that it has taken time to raise awareness about this important effort. We've heard you and have decided to extend the time period for drafting and voting," states the Web page where citizens can write and rate draft recommendations.

The recommendations that result are intended to "inform the drafting of an open government directive to executive branch agencies," according to administration officials.

Collaboration? Check. Participation? Check. Transparency? Hmm. That may depend on whether the president's directive includes any of the collaboratively-conceived recommendations from the participatory effort.