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Citizen and government collaboration: let's work it out

Oct 21, 2010, 00:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gunnar Hellekson)

"Over the last couple years, many of us involved with open source in government have had discussions about what it means for citizen coders to become involved in state, local and federal efforts. There are all kinds of legal, ethical, and logistics questions that haven't been answered. Everyone seems to be solving them individually, but it's not well-coordinated. This means that agencies who want to engage developers are wasting valuable time trying to figure out the "right way" to work with the public.

"The domain is large and already bearing fruit; I think we're all enthusiastic about CivicCommons, CrisisCommons, and a host of public service oriented application development contests in many major cities.

"On the other side, the Federal government is putting its toe deeper in the Open Source waters, recently making agreements with SourceForge and other web-based developer services. The GSA has announced its intention to launch "forge.gov", inspired by forge.mil. The VA is exploring how to open source their VistA electronic health record system. The list goes on."

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