09 July 2007

Open Government

I predict this will become increasingly common in the future:

Earlier this year, former US senator and presidential candidate Bill Bradley published The New American Story, a book about reforming the American agenda. As part of that process and as a public citizen, he has joined open source activists to produce a Web-based window into the US federal budget.

Jimmy Wales of Wikia.com, Silona Bonewald of the League of Technical Voters, and Taylor Willingham from the LBJ Family of Organizations are others involved in the new initiative. In August, the group will hold a confab in Austin, Texas, to begin development of the ambitious project.

Bradley says, "Democracy is more responsive when people have good information. The purpose of the Transparent Federal Budget is to allow anyone to go onto the Internet and to discover how much is being spent on any particular area such as roads, bridges, breast cancer, missiles, secondary education. You could keyword search to identify specific places in the federal budget where money is being spent on a particular category. Then you could link to the floor debate in Congress about that part of the federal budget and to the votes that were taken about that subject, and who voted which way, and then link to the campaign contributors of that particular congressman or senator. The Transparent Federal Budget would allow citizens to hold elected officials accountable."

Exactly. (Via Linux.com)

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