Share your ideas with even more government agencies


So remember how the EPA is taking suggestions from average citizens? Turns out, it's not just the EPA. I had a lovely chat with Anil Dash at AAAS, and he pointed me toward OpenGov Tracker—the multi-agency dashboard that allows you to share ideas with everybody from the NSF to the DOD, and vote on other people's ideas. Dash—who's working with the White House on this and other, similar projects—says that what's posted at OpenGov really is being read, and thought about, by the people in power.

NASA and Veterans Affairs are getting the most activity right now. Other agencies—like the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the US Agency for International Development—are low on public input. Maybe you've got something to say?

OpenGov Tracker is taking your ideas for the next 23 days.


  1. Interesting there’s no category for DEA, even though legalization of marijuana continues to be the number #1 issue brought up on online poll sites such as and town hall calls for topics etc.

  2. What hurts worse than watching them ignore reasoned discussion on decriminalizing marijuana is watching them laugh at it.

    Like real people aren’t really suffering. Watching Obama laugh at suffering was not a pleasant experience.

    The mental gymnastics used to invalidate online polls supporting decriminalization would, naturally, invalidate the idea of using online polls in the first place. You really have to wonder what these people think they’re doing.

  3. The web’s new killer app:

    Illusion of Citizen Control 2.0

    Should keep the plebes from revolting for another year or two.

  4. Intellectual property are the ideas behind inventions, the artistry that goes into books and music, and the logos of companies whose brands we have come to trust. My job is to help protect the ideas and creativity of the American public. One of the reasons that I care about this is because I believe it is enormously important that the United States remain a global leader in these forms of innovation – and part of how we do that is by appropriately protecting our intellectual property. Our intellectual property represents the hard work, creativity, resourcefulness, investment and ingenuity of the American public. Infringement of intellectual property can hurt our economy and can undermine U.S. jobs. Infringement also reduces our markets overseas and hurts our ability to export our products. Counterfeit products can pose a significant threat to the health and safety of us all. Imagine learning that the toothpaste you and your family have used for years contains a dangerous chemical. U.S. Customs officials have seized several shipments of counterfeit toothpaste containing a dangerous amount of diethylene glycol, a chemical used in brake fluid, and that in sufficient doses is believed to cause kidney failure. All of these are reasons why your government has renewed its efforts to challenge this illegal activity.

    My job is to help coordinate the work of the federal agencies that are involved with stopping this illegal behavior. We are going to work together to develop a strategy to reduce those risks to the public, the costs to our economy and to help protect the ingenuity and creativity of Americans. We want to be able to reduce the number of infringing goods in the United States and abroad. The examples are almost endless: counterfeit car parts, illegal software, pirated video games, knockoff consumer goods, dangerous counterfeit medicines, and many other types of products – including very sophisticated technology. Our goal is to better use taxpayer dollars and other government resources to be more effective in reducing any threat to our economy and our safety.

    To further these goals, we are working to find ways of measuring these threats and their impact on us. How many jobs depend on the existence of intellectual property? What are the greatest risks to health and safety? We need better data on these questions and it is part of my job to figure out what the answers are. We cannot do that without your help. So, my office is asking the public to give us information about the costs and the risks – and then give us suggestions for what we could be doing better as a government. As a first step, we are issuing a notice to the public asking for your input. Here’s a link to this request (pdf). You can send your comments to We look forward to hearing from you.

  5. Yes, it’s not just EPA, but every major agency across government that’s seeking ideas from the public–all at the same time.

    The agency dialogs are government responding to the President’s December 2010 Open Government Directive–which told agencies to find out from the public how to be more transparent, participatory and collaborative.

    Agencies had very tight deadlines to create agency plans on how they’ll do business differently, so the U.S. General Services Administration helped by standing up a standard dialogue tool that all agencies can use. (And, yes, we have a dialogue, too, at Let us know what you think!)

    There are more than 950 ideas and 8,600 comments! We’re looking to hear from you, too–for your ideas, your comments on others’ ideas and your votes on what issues are most important.

    Dialogues are open at least through March 19, so have your say. Find the agencies you care about and tell them how they can be more open at

    Dave McClure
    Associate Administrator
    U.S. General Services Administration

  6. As part of the Open Government Initiative, all major agencies have been required to setup public comment pages.

    List of all agency ideas and comments forms:

    The list includes:
    · Agency for International Development, U.S. (USAID)
    · Agriculture, U.S. Department of (USDA)
    · Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
    · Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)
    · Commerce, U.S Department of (DOC)
    · Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
    · Defense, Department of (DOD)
    · Education, U.S. Department of
    · Energy, U.S. Department of (DOE)
    · Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    · Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
    · Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    · Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
    · General Services Administration, U.S. (GSA)
    · Health & Human Services, U.S. Department of (HHS)
    · Homeland Security, U.S. Department of (DHS)
    · Housing and Urban Development, Department of (HUD)
    · Interior, U.S. Department of the (DOI)
    · Justice, U.S. Department of (DOJ)
    · Labor, U.S. Department of (DOL)
    · National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    · National Archives
    · National Endowment of the Arts (NEA)
    · National Science Foundation (NSF)
    · Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. (NRC)
    · Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
    · Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
    · Office of Personnel Management, U.S. (OPM)
    · Office of Science and Technology Policy, Executive Office of the President
    · Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)
    · Small Business Administration (SBA)
    · Social Security Administration (SSA)
    · State, U.S. Department of
    · Transportation, U.S. Department of (DOT)
    · Treasury, U.S. Department of the
    · Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of (VA)

    To see the tops ideas across government, visit or view the agency contact information for a complete list of all agencies, their contact information, their dialog tool URLs and RSS feeds, and other ways for the public to submit ideas.

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