I‘m in Palo Alto CA for a few days to speak at a gathering of Cyber experts from vaious disciplines at the ITTC forum at SRI headquarters in Silicon Valley. I’m pleased for the opportunity to talk about the US and other federal agencies growing adoption of open source software AND rolling some of their own too. Will be joining (and moderating) a panel Matt Jonkman from the Open Information Security Foundation and Doug Maughan who runs the Cyber Security Division of DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate (essentially the R&D arm of that agency).
On the same topic: Later this fall, I’ll working with GTRI and DHS rolling out open-technology focused summits; details to follow, prelimary info for summits in D.C. and the SFO Bay Area are available now.
I spoke to the OpenGov and eParticipation Summit in Belfast, Northern Ireland in late September. The event was produced by the University of Ulster with the help of a number of organizations and sponsors. I’d met faculty from the University when they came out to visit the Open Source Lab and learn more about the OSL’s success with supporting global open source communities. was pleased to be invited to share what I’ve learned working with a number of Open Government / Open Data initiatives and the open source community in the US.
Speakers ranged from county government to senior UK government, included industry, entrepreneurs and academics. Topics extended to open data and information exchange in health IT. A presentation from an Italian company which produces town hall style meetings using electronic voting described their product and process. The system was utilized during the Day 2 eParticpation Summit. The software interestingly enough was actually written by the Tuscany government and is available as open source.
It was interesting to see the conference and summit take the policy issues related to open data head on. In contrast to the US where private industry and civic advocates have driven the train while (most notably) the Federal government is de-funding transparency sites, Ireland and the UK governments themselves seem more engaged in creating a road map for opening their data and making that transition sustainable. At the same time, the open source community seems less engaged there in supporting more civic and volunteer approaches to opening up government.
This year’s theme for the Innovation Nation Forum, which was co-located with GOSCON, was “Shake It Up,” and things were shaken up indeed. While we were a little sad that this year’s conference wrapped up early due the East Coast earthquake, we’re all pleased that no one was harmed. Plus, we did get to shake up all things government IT and open source before the lunch hour, presenting two panels on “Cost Take Out” and “Building Outside the Box.”
You can read more from the panels in the GOSCON and GOSCON DC Tweet streams. My colleague Gunnar Hellekson from RedHat has penned an excellent post on opensource.com summarizing the Cost Take Out panel. Alex Howard from O’Relly Media moderated that panel plus did a great writeup of the event entitled “Government IT’s Quiet Open Source Evolution”.
The good folks at MeriTalk, producers of Innovation Nation, have shared a video of the luncheon exec panel which was underway when the quake hit. More materials from the conference are forthcoming; promise they’ll be exciting in less seismic ways.
Please join me on August 23 at the Washington Convention Center for our Seventh Annual GOSCON, this year collocated with Innovation Nation Forum. I’m very excited we’re partnering with MeriTalk for the event which takes this year’s burning government IT issues head-on.
Our program this month includes a great lineup of all agency leadership – from the FCC to the White House, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, NASA, DHS and more. A full program schedule, registration and other details can be found at Innovation Nation, or you can check out the GOSCON site for speaker details. Registration is complementary to government, one registration provides access to all Innovation Nation keynotes and sessions.
GOSCON Track details:
Cost Take Out: Where are the Savings in Open Source?
- Greg Elin, Chief Data Officer, Federal Communications Commission
- Tiffany Smith Licciardi, eDiplomacy, U.S. Department of State
- Dr. David A. Wheeler, Research Staff Member, Institute for Defense Analyses
- Alexander B. Howard, Gov 2.0 Correspondent, O’Reilly Media [Moderator]
Building Outside the Box: Leading Federal Agency Innovators
- Matthew Burton, Office of the CIO, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Scott Goodwin, Chief Information Officer for Space Operations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- Dr. Douglas Maughan, Director, Cyber Security Division, Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate
- Wayne Moses Burke, Executive Director, Open Forum Foundation [Moderator]
Open Source Lessons Learned: What the Feds can Learn from State and Local Gov
- Carolyn Lawson, Chief Information Officer, Oregon Health Authority
- Bryan Sivak, Chief Innovation Office, State of Maryland
- Chris Vein, Executive Officer of the President
- Deborah Bryant, Public Sector Communities Manager, Oregon State University Open Source Lab [moderator]
About GOSCON: The Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON) program is produced by Oregon State University Open Source Lab as part of its mission to educate and build community. Since 2005, GOSCON has helped fuel the adoption of open source technology in the public sector by attracting information technology leaders worldwide to its annual event. Ongoing conference content includes lessons learned in the development and integration of open source solutions into agency environments, exposure to projects and existing software applications and services, and opportunities to establish and foster relationships for collaboration around shared interests.
It’s been about five years since the DoD-commissioned Open Technology Development Road Map was published, considered the definitive primer for smart government agencies and their personnel diving in to Open Source development, acquisition and operational policy-making. The next anxiously-awaited (well, not anxious but very much looked-forward to) installment – entitled “Open Technology Development: Lessons Learned and Best Practices for Military Software” is now available in a PDF format.
You can down the new publication here: OTD-lessons-learned-military-FinalV1
If you’re interested in the 2006 Open Technology Road Map document, it’s still a great resource. You can download it here: OTDRoadmap_v3_Final
If you’re interesting in watching the OTD’s author-on-point John Scott present the original OTD Road Map at GOSCON 2006, here’s the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/user/osuosl#p/u/24/QOEFSygla5s
If you’d like to read Karl Fogel’s gushing review of the doc for Civic Commons, it’s here: http://civiccommons.org/2011/05/dod-open-technology-guide/
Finally, you can visit the Mil-OSS community at http://mil-oss.org/
A document I am very pleased to be associated with; thanks John Scott for the opportunity and congratulations on hitting another one out of the park.
Enjoy! and share with a friend.
Following the first year of implementation of the Open Government Directive, a number of valuable reports have addressed the openness and transparency progress made by federal agencies. Today’s Open Source for America (OSFA) report card digs a little deeper into its own domain – Open Source, Open Technology in use in their report on Federal Agencies. Although the US White House Open Government Directive isn’t explicitly about underlying technology to “get to open”, it’s not gone without notice that open source software drives much of the infrastructure that makes the process work. I like to think of it as a kind of Swiss Army knife for open data and transparency.
But read the report, it’s all in there. Read the press release.
OSFA has also made the entire table available for download. Download the report.
According to the release…
The Federal Open Technology Report Card evaluated key indicators of open government and open technologies developed through online crowd sourcing and refined metrics outlined by the OSFA leadership committee. These included questions regarding public budgets, use of social media, and open source technology practices. 2010 marked the first year federal government agencies were operating under the Directive and Open Government Plans, and the results are promising. Many of the agencies scored well, while others have room for improvement. The Report Card assigned a percentage grade to the 15 Cabinet-level departments and agencies use of open source technologies, open formats, and technology tools for citizen engagement.
A few of the agencies graded in the report include:
- Department of Defense (82 percent)
- Department of Energy (72 percent)
- Department of Health and Human Services (55 percent)
- Department of Homeland Security (55 percent)
- Department of Transportation (53 percent)
Open Source for America is one of the projects I enjoy working with. It’s an all volunteer organization, so any time we can beg borrow and borrow our community members’ time to produce a report, it’s something to celebrate.