Obama's starting fast out of the gate, and I'm impressed. Here's the gist, from two of the smartest people about government transparency and accountability.
He's starting to make our government accountable to us. Ellen Miller writes on the Sunlight Foundation blog:
On Day One, President Obama issued new Executive Orders and memoranda
– including an Executive Order on Ethics Commitments by Executive
Branch Personnel, a memoranda on Transparency and Open Government and
one on the Freedom of Information Act – indicating a dramatic break
in the executive branch’s stance toward being held accountable to the
public it serves. Roll Call called today’s action by the new president
“sweeping,“and we agree.
Clearly, creating greater transparency in government is a high
priority for the new administration. This is a good beginning and it represents real change.
One of Ellen's peers is Micah Sifry, writing on TechPresident.com:
The Obama Administration took its first major steps toward implementing its promise to make government more open and transparent, with two presidential memoranda covering freedom of information, transparency and open government. The first memo directing all agencies to "adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure." This is a 180-degree turn from the policies of the Bush Administration. Most interesting for e-democracy fans: The memo says "all agencies should use modern technology to inform citizens about what is known and done by their Government."
… Obama is calling on the federal government to explore and embrace the wisdom of crowds and to greatly expand the "collaborative government" experiments that have been popping up inside and around the bureaucracy like mushrooms after a storm.
Folks, this is real, and a really big deal.