Browsing articles in "Government"

Executive Open Data Roundtable: The State of Open Government GOSCON 2010

Jan 15, 2011   //   by Nate DiNiro   //   Blog, GOSCON 2010, Government, Open Government, Open Source  //  1 Comment

GOSCON 2010 opened with a general session; “Executive Open Data Roundtable: The State of Open Government“. The Roundtable featured state, city and federal leaders exploring the successes and challenges of the open government directive, including discussion of the successes and challenges launching their Open initiatives, programs influence on state and local government operations, and the role of open source software in executing the programs.

Led by Andy Stein, Director of Information Technology for the City of Newport News, Virginia and perennial GOSCON Committee member, Stein set an “open” stage, inviting attendees to be ready with questions after short introduction by the panelists. In 2008, Stein was appointed as a volunteer Senior Advisor on Open Collaboration to former Secretary of Technology for the Commonwealth of Virginia, Aneesh Chopra, now CTO of the United States Federal Government. In 2009, Andy was named on the Government Technology list of 2009 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers.

Roundtable participants included:

  • Marion Royal, Program Director for, Agency Expert, Office of Citizens Services and Innovative Technology, General Services Administration.
  • Andrew Hoppin, Chief Information Officer, New York State Senate
  • Carolyn Lawson, Dep. Director, Technology Services Governance Division, State of California
  • Dugan Petty, Chief Information Officer, State of Oregon
  • Mark Greinke, Chief Technology Officer, City of Portland, Oregon

Slides for the session can be downloaded here.

Sean McSpaden, Deputy CIO of Oregon State and Deb Bryant discuss the Virtual USA project & open data

Jan 11, 2011   //   by Nate DiNiro   //   Blog, Crisis Management, GOSCON 2010, Government, Interviews  //  1 Comment

Sean McSpaden, Oregon State Deputy CIO, spoke with Deb Bryant, GOSCON conference Chair and Public Sector Communities Manager from Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab. McSpaden was attending the 2010 Government Open Source Conference.

Bryant initially asked about the state of the Virtual USA Program and the Oregon’s participation in the program. McSpaden detailed its evolution, from a collaboration between the State of Alabama’s Virtual Alabama Project and Virginia’s VIPER project to the eventual creation of a consortium of States, first in the Southeast and then in the Pacific Northwest. The consortium has been coordinated byDepartment of Homeland Security, Science & Technology Directorate Command, Control & Interoperability Division. The overall project is intended to create a common operating picture for emergency response by enabling the sharing of information across multiple agencies and even multiple states. McSpaden went on to say that the system proved useful during the Gulf oil spill thanks to its basis on open standards, allowing BP, Walmart, as well as other responders to effectively operate their respective portions of the response effort.

While the platform and system underlying the several state capabilities developed via Virtual USA program are proprietary, McSpaden did say that there was an attempt to adopt some of the hallmarks of an open source project. A focus on interoperability, permitting code sharing and utilization of open data standards are just a few points that McSpaden mentions. McSpaden says for example, the work on Virginia’s VIPER system was done for hire by a contractor with expertise in Adobe Flex and ESRI software. However, one of the main requirements was that Virtual USA must support users in a multi-viewer environment, allowing for consumption of data in users own systems.

McSpaden also shared details of Oregon’s open data initiative on site. McSpaden explained that they planned to leverage partnerships with agencies like Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality as well as the Oregon Department of Transportation, and said that their approach was to permit a “wide and varied focus of interest” on the types of data state Oregon agencies bring to the table. “We want to mash it with our Geospatial holdings”, McSpaden said. Contrary to the opinions of some civic application developers and enthusiasts who are using these raw data sets to build “civic applications”, McSpaden asserted that Oregon is working to provide the information as continuously available open data services to its consumers, not as data sets to be repetitively downloaded by interested parties.

UPDATE: We thank Mr. McSpaden for contacting us with clarifications to the facts presented, and those corrections have been incorporated.

John Weathersby of OSSI with Nate DiNiro of OpenAffairs.TV

Jan 6, 2011   //   by Nate DiNiro   //   Blog, GOSCON 2010, Interviews, Military, Open Source  //  No Comments
John Weathersby, Executive Director of Open Source Software Institute joins Nate DiNiro to share some of the details about the mission of his organization, which is to promote the adoption of open source in federal, state and local government. OSSI helps government stakeholders identify and facilitate open source software solutions as a viable business opportunity. While most of OSSI’s experience is in defense and the intelligence community, with recent growth in Homeland Security, John shares an example of a situation where the Government was able to spin out the IP of a Federal workflow management system, known as the “Open Source Corporate Management Information System”, and successfully structure the legal status to create a open source project which can benefit other agencies and safe government dollars.

John Scott (@johnmscott) discusses OSS in the Military with Deb Bryant

Jan 6, 2011   //   by Nate DiNiro   //   Blog, GOSCON 2010, Interviews, Military, Open Source  //  1 Comment

John Scott, Director of Open Source Software and Open Integration at RadientBlue Technologies, joined Deb Bryant of Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab to discuss how open source software and development approaches are used in the US Department of Defense.

John is well known for his work for the DoD on the groundbreaking “Open Technology Development Roadmap“. Published in April of 2006, the document examines opportunities that DoD could exploit to improve technology outcomes and lower costs, largely addressing the change in culture and practices that DoD would need to undertake to take advantage of OSS in the US Military. Scott also participates deeply in the Military Open source community, managing the Mil-OSS Google Group and organizing events including the Mil-OSS conference & unconference. Information can be found at

In the interview, Scott talks about recent news about OSS throughout the DOD. He shares news of a recent policy memo issued but the DoD CIO, recognizing open source software and participation in open source communities and projects as being officially permitted by the US Department of Defense. He also shares news of a forthcoming DoD open technology “field manual”, addressing needs throughout the DoD to understand how to utilize open source on a military project. Scott also mentions some military software projects that have been released to the world as open source projects. He talks about the growth of geospatial OSS and he specifically mentions FalconView, a route planning & spatial analysis system used by the Marines for route planning. Scott also credits the rest of the US Federal Government for adopting more open source software, especially state and local government where lots of discussion are happening.

Thanks to John for joining us. His blog can be found at

David Riley on the landscape of the CONNECT initiative

Jan 3, 2011   //   by Nate DiNiro   //   Blog, GOSCON 2010, Government, Health IT, Healthcare, Interviews, Open Source  //  No Comments

In addition to his 2010 Government Open Source Conference keynote, David Riley joined us at the conference to talk about details of the CONNECT initiative, with health IT expert and OATV co-founder Jeremy Murtishaw. David outlines the basics of the project, as well as it’s acceptance in the health IT community. He also addresses the structure, the security architecture as well as detailing about how health information exchange happens in detail.

Dugan Petty, Oregon State CIO talks Government IT with Deb Bryant of OSU Open Source Lab

Jan 3, 2011   //   by Nate DiNiro   //   Blog, GOSCON 2010, Government, Interviews, Open Government  //  No Comments

Dugan Petty, Oregon State CIO took a few minutes at the 2010 Government Open Source Conference to talk with Deb Bryant, Public Sector Communities Manager and GOSCON conference Chair with Oregon State University’s Open Source Lab. Petty was on-hand to participate in the opening session, an executive panel on the state of open data, which had concluded just prior to Petty’s interview.

Petty shared his excitement over a recent grade of B+ on the Digital States Survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Government. The survey examines IT practices in all 50 states, and Oregon’s performance ranks it in the top 25% of the country. The grade indicates Oregon is strongly trending upward. “Oregon had previously not event been on the radar” Petty says, and he attributes it to the State identifying and playing to it’s strengths. To see more information on the Digital States Report, visit

Petty also went on to comment on efforts to participate in the opening of government data amongst the State government, as well as their local and federal partners. He gave some examples including an initiative on to make improve access to state data. Dugan Petty’s service as CIO of the State of Oregon began in 2006, where he has led the creation and execution of Oregon√Ęs enterprise-level Information Resource Strategy aimed at reducing costly duplication of efforts and resources. He serves as Vice-President of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO), co-chairs the NASCIO Enterprise Architecture and Governance Committee. and chaired the Greening of IT Committee. He is a member of the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council, Oregon State Interoperability Executive Council, and the newly created Transparency Oregon Advisory Commission.

Sarah Schacht of Knowledge As Power talks with Nate DiNiro of Open Affairs TV

Dec 29, 2010   //   by Nate DiNiro   //   Blog, GOSCON 2010, Government, Interviews, Open Government  //  1 Comment
Sarah Schacht, Executive Director of Knowledge As Power, joined Nate DiNiro of Open Affairs Television to talk about the mission of the organization and other details about her career path and the ongoing open government movement. KAP helps citizens become informed and effective in the legislative process with online tools that help citizens track legislation and at the same time helps governments open up their process and data to engage citizens.
Sara shares some details about her experiences, which led to her position as a resource for governments seeking to create more transparency, as well as some practical advice about sustaining the hard won ground which the open government movement has gained. Sarah also shares details of a crowd funded usability study led by KAP which helped the City of Seattle staff justify a reorganization of the City’s website, stories of helping 10 Downing street, and how her activities as a student body representative to State government helped shape her involvement in open government.