Toward More Transparent Government - W3C/WSRI Workshop

18-19 June 2007
Toward More Transparent Government - W3C/WSRI Workshop
United States National Academy of Sciences
Washington, DC USA

Daniel J. Weitzner
Decentralized Information Group
MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

These slides:


  1. Motivation
  2. Goals
  3. Agenda Overview
  4. Thanks!

Motivation - EU Public Section Information Directive

Making public all generally available documents held by the public sector ... is a fundamental instrument for extending the right to knowledge, which is a basic principle of democracy.

DIRECTIVE 2003/98/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 17 November 2003 on the re-use of public sector information

Motivation - US eGovernment Act of 2002

(9) To make the Federal Government more transparent and accountable.
(10) To transform agency operations by utilizing, where appropriate, best practices from public and private sector organizations.
(11) To provide enhanced access to Government information and services in a manner consistent with laws regarding protection of personal privacy, national security, records retention, access for persons with disabilities, and other relevant laws.

E-Government Act of 2002
Public Law 107-347

Motivation - The Web's Potential

"The Internet is 'a unique and wholly new medium of worldwide human communication.'"

ACLU v. Reno, United States Supreme Court (June 1997)

Question - Are We Making the Most of the Web's Potential for Political Debate?

Obama on YouTub

Question - Are We Making the Most of the Web's Potential for Transparency?

FEMA Katrina Relief IE Only

Question - Are We Making the Most of the Web's Potential for Transparency?

Copyright Office IE only

Workshop Goals

(paraphrasing the CfP)

  1. What are the long-range information policy goals unmet by current eGovernment strategies?
  2. What new dynamics of information services and web publishing marketplace should governments consider in setting eGovernment strategy?
  3. How can governments leverage open standards to achieve public sector information goals?
  4. Are there any significant differences between Web services created in commercial or other non-governmental environments, and those designed specifically for government application?

Agenda Overview


Extraordinary Admin Team at W3C and ECS

Amy van der Hiel
Susan Westhaver
Susan Davies

Workshop co-chairs: José Manuel Alonso (W3C), Ari Schwartz (CDT), Nigel Shadbolt (ECS)

Program Committee

Speakers from near and far

National Academy of Sciences staff

Univesity of Maryland Mindlab for workshop support