Friday, June 04, 2010

“How government can be made more transparent and accountable through technology?”

I was recently contacted by the Pioneer Institute and asked if I would be willing to help promote the "Ultimate Citizen Award". What's the "Ultimate Citizen Award"? Well I would urge you to visit Fall River Blog to get the full details, but in a nutshell it's a competition to hear the ideas and opinions about how government can be made more accountable and more transparent by the use of technology.

After reading their email and visiting their website I knew it was something that I not only wanted to help promote but also to participate in. The competition runs through June 15th and basically is looking for me to get YOUR responses to 3 questions:

· What government information do you think people should have access to?

· In what format do you think this information should be delivered in?

· How do you think technology can be used to make government more transparent and accountable to citizens?

Now the reason I decided to participate in this and ask you to share your thoughts is because this is a topic that I've discussed with readers, fellow bloggers, friends, and local politicians. We all think government should be more accountable. But for that to happen people need to understand what's going on. It makes sense that the more accessible government is the more transparent and accountable it becomes.

A few hours ago I mentioned this post and this contest to somebody and they immediately threw out an idea that I had never thought of, yet it was an idea that would certainly promote participation and make government more accessible. And with today's technology it was not only doable but affordable! And I know amongst all of you, there are probably hundreds of other good ideas just waiting to be expressed. So please read the questions above and I hope you'll participate.



Tom Paine said...

We need to allow the voice of the people to be heard more easily at Beacon Hill. When a hearing is held on legislation, 95% of the time it is held during the day in Boston. Many residents cannot take the time to go to Boston to testify on a bill. For some, they have to lose an entire day out of work if they go to Boston to testify.

Why not set up in key sections of the state Video Testifying Centers. They can be set up in various colleges and community colleges since these institutions, for the most part, have the equipment that is necessary to accomplish this task.

If the hearing is supposed to be held from 10am to 4pm the video segment can be done at a set time, 12noon to 1pm. A few days prior to the hearing the person would set up the appointment with the Video Testifying Center. The citizen would be allowed 3 minutes and would be able to speak directly to the Reps and Senators. If the panel has any questions there can be give and take, LIVE!

Plus, far too often, our Reps and Senators do not even show up for committee hearings, this will also shine a light on that fact.

Anonymous said...

Exactly Tom Paine,

like this from the Boston Globe

Mass. Senate plans public hearing on casino plan
June 6, 2010

BOSTON —Backers and foes of casino gambling will get their chance to weigh in at a public hearing at the Statehouse this week.

The Massachusetts Senate has scheduled a 1 p.m. hearing on Tuesday on a plan to allow the state to license three resort-style casinos while keeping a ban on slot machines at the state's four racetracks.

Two of the casino licenses would be competitively bid. The third would go to a qualified Indian tribe.

The Senate plan differs from a House plan to license two casinos and allow 750 slot machines at each of the state's four race tracks.

Senate President Therese Murray has said the details of the Senate bill are still in flux and a final version won't be released until after the hearing.

Critics say casinos bring hidden social and economic costs