Archive for the ‘Government 2.0’ Category

This Week is Sunshine Week

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

This week is government sunshine week. It celebrates making government more transparent and accountable. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” once said US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, referring to the practice of making information widely available to the public. Today many organizations champion the cause, with technology making it easier than ever to keep up to date on government affairs.

This year Watchdog Wire is asking you to do a citizens audit of the Hamilton County website. Can you access budgets on the County website, or find contact information for all public officials? Are meeting minutes available? Is there a database of all public spending? How user friendly or transparent is the website for everyday citizens? A full scoring rubric is available here.

As a Software Engineer, long time web developer and supporter of OpenDataCincy, I will bring 21st-century transparency to our antiquated County government. We will open up APIs, stream meetings online and generally make government work for the people again in a manner that is accessible in today’s world.

Help for Borrowers with Private and Federal Loans: CFPB Student Loan Complaint System Up and Running

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

This month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched its new student loan complaint system, which means borrowers with private student loans finally have a place to turn for help! If you have questions or complaints about a lender, servicer, or debt collector - for a private or federal student loan - you can go online or call the toll-free hotline (855-411-CFPB).

Click here to submit a complaint online or call (855) 411-CFPB

This Week is Sunshine Week

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

It may be serendipitous that this is also the first full warm week of the year, but this week is also government sunshine week. It celebrates making government more transparent and accountable. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” once said US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, referring to the practice of making information widely available to the public. Today many organizations champion the cause, with technology making it easier than ever to keep up to date on government affairs. Indiana’s state legislature in a last minute push last year approved strengthening the existing Indiana Public Access and Open Door laws.

S.B. 92 allows judges to levy a $100 penalty against public officials for a first offense and $500 for subsequent offenses of Indiana Public Access laws. It requires local government agencies to send e-mail notifications of their meetings or post the information to their website. Well organized local governments have been doing this for some time now. It’s about time we expect the same of all local governments.

The law also sets clear and strict policies on when members of government boards and councils can “attend” a meeting via Internet or phone, a practice that until now has been largely unregulated. Violations of Indiana Public Access law also occur if public officials vote by secret ballot in a public meeting, take action that is forbidden in a closed session, or refuse to release public records, with minor exemptions for educational institutions.

I look forward to bringing sunlight to the Ohio Statehouse!