Thank you to everyone who posted responses to both my blog and HHS’s initial Open Government Plan outline!

Very interesting responses.  I wanted to give a shout-out to several folks in particular:

  • To Scott in NJ, Scott Ruhl in CA, and Survivor in Iowa – who collectively pointed out that we have a great opportunity to advance Open Government through making the work of our federal advisory committees more accessible.
  • To Snobound in VA and Tommy J, thanks for the posts urging us to avoid government jargon and speak plainly.  It’s hard to be transparent if nobody knows what on earth you’re saying.  We’ll try to lead by example by writing our Open Government plan in a way that folks can actually understand – and by making this blog a jargon-free zone.
  • To Mother Horta, who chastised me for not making it easier for folks to offer ideas and then have them discussed.  Mother, you may have already noticed that there’s a new feature in the “Our Plan” discussion – “Share Ideas” buttons under each category of Open Government action.  Under “Share Ideas,” folks can offer ideas and suggestions, to which other folks can respond and which folks can rate.

Which brings me to my next question for everyone:  what are your ideas regarding how HHS can best engage the American public in what we do for the betterment of the country?  How can HHS collaborate in innovative ways with citizens and with organizations outside government to deliver most effectively on our mission of helping to improve health and well-being?

For a start to this particular conversation, check out the detailed, helpful post by Kate Walser of VA in the “Share Participation Ideas” area under “Our Plan.”  Kate, thank you for your extremely thoughtful post.  Others:  please let us know what you think of Kate’s ideas, and add to her suggestions!  Particularly interesting would be ideas which are simple, effective, and quick momentum builders for increased civic engagement in the work of HHS.

In case it’s not obvious by now, we plan to make this blog not about us, but about you – about your ideas and your thoughts regarding how HHS can best make progress on Open Government.  Please keep your suggestions coming.  We plan to keep blogging about Open Government long after our Open Government Plan is published.  Like so many things, Open Government isn’t a destination, but a journey.  And it’s a journey that should ultimately be powered by you.

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