Open Government Highlights: 1000 points of data
Kenneth Duberstein, who was the White House Chief of Staff from 1988-1989 had a very interesting Op-Ed piece in the New York Times Feb 23 (Op-Ed Contributor - 1,000 Points of Data - NYTimes.com). In it he calls for the US Government to allow for all citizens to assess the State of the Union themselves:
What we need now is a Web-based system for measuring our changing society with key national indicators — in a free, public, easy-to-use form. Ideally, it would be run by the nonpartisan National Academy of Sciences, which would ensure it has the best quality of information and is kept up to date. The system would enable us to offer in one place statistical information that we spend billions of dollars collecting but that is now underused and undervalued.Noting that this idea is possibly going to be a reality, he writes:
Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Michael Enzi, Republican of Wyoming, plan to soon introduce a bill that would allocate about $7.5 million a year for such a comprehensive database of key national indicators, and the idea already has wide bipartisan support.Duberstein further states
Great steps forward in American history occur at moments when our deeply held values are reaffirmed in the face of changing realities. Such a moment is at hand. We need a shared frame of reference that will enable us to practice collective accountability.I think this is a stellar idea. Access to information is critical for our future. Good to see this notion getting more and more support throughout the government.