I heard it put recently, the argument shouldn't be about whether we need Bigger Government or Smaller Government, as it is too often framed by those in Congress
-- but whether we can somehow achieve Smarter Government?
Hmmm? THAT is a nice frame, isn't it?
So much so that even Mitt Romney is staking a claim to the new thought bubble:
Romney: Government Isn't the Hero
by Tom Shoop, govexec.com -- May 15, 2012
[... Mitt Romney: ]My point is this: as President Obama and old-school liberals absorb more and more of our economy into government, they make what we do more expensive, less efficient, and less useful. They make America less competitive. They make government more expensive.
What President Obama is doing is not bold; it's old.
As president, I will make the federal government simpler, smaller, smarter – and, by the way, more in keeping with the vision of the Framers of our Constitution.
I didn't say he was staking a well-reasoned claim to the topic, lol.
This got my thinking, What is President Obama doing to make Government "smarter" ... ?
Well this was among the more recent "smart government" news (as per those always-searching, Google search-algorithms).
Not exactly what I was expecting, but interesting nonetheless ...
by Alex Howard, radar.oreilly.com -- May 23, 2012
Today, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum on building a 21st century digital government.
[... Barack Obama: ][...][...]
On April 27, 2011, I issued Executive Order 13571 (Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service), requiring executive departments and agencies to, among other things, identify ways to use innovative technologies to streamline their delivery of services to lower costs, decrease service delivery times, and improve the customer experience. As the next step toward modernizing the way Government works, I charged my Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO) with developing a comprehensive Government-wide strategy to build a 21st century digital Government that delivers better digital services to the American people.
Today, the CIO is releasing that strategy, entitled "Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People" (Strategy), which provides agencies with a 12-month roadmap that focuses on several priority areas.The Strategy will enable more efficient and coordinated digital service delivery by requiring agencies to establish specific, measurable goals for delivering better digital services; encouraging agencies to deliver information in new ways that fully utilize the power and potential of mobile and web-based technologies; ensuring the safe and secure delivery and use of digital services to protect information and privacy; requiring agencies to establish central online resources for outside developers and to adopt new standards for making applicable Government information open and machine-readable by default;
Ultimately, this Strategy will ensure that agencies use emerging technologies to serve the public as effectively as possible. As a Government, and as a trusted provider of services, we must never forget who our customers are -- the American people.
How will government become more data-centric?
[Federal CIO Steven] VanRoekel: Yesterday was the three-year anniversary of Data.gov. It was an important first step to raise the awareness of people around data. It largely was a bulk upload, bulk download system. It didn't manifest in data being digital by default through the entire lifecycle of that data. It was sort of an add-on, to take the step of getting it to Data.gov. The key difference in what we're doing here and evolving Data.gov -- which will be involved, as part of this -- is architecting data for openness.
As you remember from the Open Government Directive, where we directed all agencies to create a "/open" page. Part of this deliverable will be all agencies creating a "/developer" page, to start to build the catalog of citizen-accessible web APIs for their systems.
Well that seems a bit ambitious given what I've seen of government computer systems (from the inside) -- but hey, it's important to set "ambitious goals" if you ever expect to get anywhere, I always say.
And that last link, is not short on ambition. It's kind of Al-Gorish in a 'smart' sort of way ... Release the inter-tubes!
SO what say you?
Do we need Bigger Government or Smaller Government ... or just plain Smarter Government?
And how would you go about making Government achieve your very "ambitious goals"?
... that would hopefully help to make Government work -- for the interests of the governed?
Release the 21st-century discussions ...