As many of you know, a survey was conducted in August by AmericaSpeaks, the League of Women Voters, the National Coalition on Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD), OMB Watch and OpentheGovernment.org, to assess the public experience of participating in the White House’s 3-phase online dialogue process feeding into the forthcoming Open Government Directive (OGD).
Yesterday, I and eight others from our group met with six white house officials to (1) discuss our findings, (2) to get a sense of how the White House plans to evaluate future online consultations, and (3) to discuss how the open government community can contribute to enhancing the quality of future public consultations of the White House or federal agencies by playing an ongoing role in assessment. The meeting took place at 1:00 pm in DC at the White House Conference Center.
In attendance from the White House…
- Chelsea Kammerer, Office of Public Engagement
- Beth Noveck, Open Government Initiative
- Robynn Sturm, Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)
- Beverly Godwin, GSA (U.S. General Services Administration) Office of Citizen Services and Communications
- Brian Behlendorf, Department of Health and Human Services
- Macon Phillips, Director of New Media for the White House (the man behind WhiteHouse.gov)
In attendance from our collaborative group…
- Me (Sandy Heierbacher) and Leanne Nurse (EPA Policy Analyst and NCDD Board member) from NCDD
- Joe Goldman and Carolyn Lukensmeyer from AmericaSpeaks
- Chery Graeve and Kelly McFarland from the League of Women Voters
- Sean Moulton and Chris George from OMB Watch
- Amy Fuller of OpenTheGovernment.org
I wanted to share some of my rough notes and impressions from the meeting with the NCDD network. No one had their laptops out, so I was just jotting down written notes, mostly when White House folks talked. So this is by no means a full account of the meeting, nor is anything a direct quote.
After quick introductions around the room, we began the meeting by talking about our findings. Generally, there was appreciation among respondents for the White House’s leadership and innovation in launching the online dialogue process. There was also considerable feedback offered to help improve the process for future use, in the hopes that initiatives such as this, done well, can advance good ideas and open government more fully to the public. (more…)