Making Government Operations More Open

(@federalgovernmentworker)

Making Government Operations More Open

Prevent the US Patent and Trademark Office from Destroying Records

I'm writing in my personal capacity and not in my capacity as a patent examiner. I believe that the USPTO should be prevented from destroying crucial records which would shed light on its patent operations, especially when these records may be crucial to pending lawsuits that inventors, or workers may have. What was discovered under FOIA request 07-370, was an email released by the USPTO from a person who was then a... more »

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17 votes
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Making Government Operations More Open

Civil Liberty Protection Act

Any bill introduced which has the potential to impact civil liberties in any way, must be introduced as a stand-alone bill who's name reflects the true nature of the bill, in a language that instantly and clearly identifies its content, and cannot be combined with, or hidden within, any other bill or group of bills.

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25 votes
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(@federalgovernmentworker)

Making Government Operations More Open

Make US Patent & Trademark Office's Use of Taxpayers' dollars transparent

I'm writing in my personal capacity and not in my capacity as a patent examiner, although I'm employed as such at the USPTO.

The USPTO is granted alot of money from Congress but uses it irresponsibly. Right now, the USPTO's top managers are claiming that a funding crisis exists and that the USPTO is low on funds because of the recession. However, the truth of the matter is that much of the scarcity of funds was created... more »

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12 votes
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Making Government Operations More Open

Let the GAO audit the CIA and NSA!

Several presidential predecessors have failed to allow seasoned bureaucrats within the Government Accountability Office with the appropriate clearance levels audit our intelligence agencies. This creates a black mark on our record for transparency that we can and should wipe clean. Good books mean good government. Encourage our president to change this norm!

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22 votes
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Making Government Operations More Open

Require all Federal Government meetings that are subject to the Open Meetings Laws to be Webcast online.

Board meetings are where some of the most important decisions are made by our government. Allow the American people access to the decision making process by requiring all of these meetings to be webcast on the Internet both live and on-demand.

The Governor of New York State pioneered this initiative in 2007 when he required all State agencies and authorities to webcast their meetings (Executive Order 3). It's been... more »

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337 votes
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(@federalgovernmentworker)

Making Government Operations More Open

Post records of Findings of each EEOC Administrative Judge on EEOC Website

Post findings on the EEOC.gov website of the number of discrimination findings made by each Admnistrative Judge employed by the EEOC. There are some Judges who have not made any findings of discrimination since they've been employed at the EEOC in certain categories such as gender. This information is already available through request under FOIA.

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3 votes
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Making Government Operations More Open

Web Accessible Quarterly Status and Progress Reports on Major Initiatives

Provide an easy-to-read, standard format quarterly status report on the progress and results of major initiatives. These reports need to show results, the critical path, a prioritized list of current tasks (with due dates and owners), anticipated risks, upcoming milestones, measurements, and a high-level budget accounting. The reports should provide a means to accept ideas and input from citizens, RSS subscriptions to... more »

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3 votes
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Making Government Operations More Open

Make holding public office entail a sacrifice of certain rights.

In shaping our nation, public office holders are given the power and privilege that that task requires. However, this power can be abused. The risk should be minimized by making it a requirement of such offices that the office holders voluntarily sacrifice certain rights. The obvious example would be the right to privacy: if someone is given the power to create laws, to implement policy, that person should not be able... more »

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-14 votes
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Making Government Operations More Open

Transparency Ombudsman

Have some official with top secret clearance or higher serve as an information ombudsman to both receive requests (C-SPAN style) from the public, and double-check documents where federal agencies claim confidentiality or classification (the onus being on them to opt-in). I'm imagining a low-level cabinet official (maybe the head of a national FOIA library?) who has no influence except the threat of declassification,... more »

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4 votes
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(@stevenaftergood)

Making Government Operations More Open

Start with the Decision to Disclose

Openness means disclosure, followed by dissemination, which enables further interactions. But too often government agencies never make it past the first step – the decision to disclose. And so this is where reform efforts should start.

Despite the President’s declared commitment to disclosure, not even the White House meets the standard that he has set. For example, the public cannot access Obama Administration Presidential... more »

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24 votes
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Making Government Operations More Open

Use Transparency to Enforce the Rule of Law

Increasing the transparency of government is necessary but not sufficient. Transparency without accountability is worthless, and merely provides a window into inefficiency (and criminal activity) without ending it.

What policy impediments to accountability in government currently exist? The refusal to make investigating and prosecuting all criminal activity--including most notably war crimes--a top priority. Of all perpetrators.... more »

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11 votes
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(@stevenaftergood)

Making Government Operations More Open

Fix the Classification System

There is a near-universal consensus that the national security classification system sweeps too broadly and that it restricts too much information for too long. Overclassification not only has disruptive effects within government (as noted, for example, by the 9/11 Commission), but it is also poisonous to democratic governance.

Revamping the classification system should be a priority.

In particular, a focused, public... more »

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