Citizen and government collaboration: let’s work it out

“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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