White House "good government" site bundles accountability efforts


Whatever your take on the Obama administration, it has undeniably created a lot of web sites. Enough, in fact, that the White House  has launched a new portal to help you find your way to all those other sites.

The portal, www.whitehouse.gov/goodgovernment, debuted yesterday and is billed as an online path “to tools and data that connect citizens to their government and improve their everyday lives.”

On it, you can easily find all your old favorites: White House visitor logs, the IT Dashboard, and data.gov, along with new offerings like FOIA.gov. It also includes the public schedules for both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, salary information for White House staffers and other treats.

At least for the moment, though, you won’t find any mention of the fact–documented in reports by watchdog organizations inside government and out–that executive branch agencies are regularly failing to live up to Obama’s accountability and transparency goals.

Still, it’s a start. And since the site includes the memos and executive orders outlining those goals, perhaps agency chiefs and other administration officials will surf it every now and then for a reminder that they’re supposed to be meeting a higher standard.


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  1. Government “help the citizen websites” are growing geometrically–to the point that no one can find anything even more than before. Government needs to take a deep breath and consider developing a government-wide information policy. Start by seeing how easily these sites can be located on search engines-they can’t be easily located. There are two kinds of govt information transactions: providing to the public and getting from the public. These break down into functions an executive agency must by law perform that directly affect business, states, and citizens and the functions that initiatives/directives/EO that are directly affect the agencies, and so on. By having a standard for websites that tells the visitor what kind of site (and also search engines) it would be a simple start in organizing the heap of government websites. There are other, no doubt better ways to organize than this off the cuff look, but organization is needed, not more piled on the heap.

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