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Former White House Deputy CTO on Open Gov vs. Good Gov

Beth Novek, Photo: Joi Ito

Beth Noveck, former White House deputy chief technology officer and director of the Open Government Initiative, says the administration is on-track in its efforts to re-brand “open government,” as “good government.

Blogging on The Huffington Post, Noveck, the author of Wiki Government, a tome on social media and democracy, says the name change helps to explain what open-gov goals have always been about.

“The Open Government Directive [was] never exclusively about making transparent information about the workings of government,” she writes. “It was a strategy for changing how government works — using public sector information to create more innovative institutions and effective democracy.”

In late March, the administration announced the roll out of its “Good Government” portal on the White House website, which folds traditional open-gov data into other useful information and tools.

In her blog post, Noveck offered support for the revamp of the open-gov brand.

“Putting the cabinet secretary’s schedule up online does little to produce greater accountability or better government,” she wrote. “At least there’s no empirical evidence to suggest that it does. By contrast, when HHS makes hundreds of datasets about health and wellness available online and invites .orgs and .coms to transform that data into tools that help individuals, institutions and communities make smarter decisions that improve the quality and reduce the cost of healthcare, it is partnering with the public to solve problems more collaboratively.”

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