New York Turns to Wikis to Encourage Transparency, Engagement – Next American City
Credit: Flickr user justgrimes
VIA THE NEW YORK WORLD
Last Tuesday, New York City took a double leap into the future of open government. TheDepartment of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) released preliminary policies, technical standards and guidelines under the new Local Law 11, which requires city agencies to publish all public data in one online portal in a machine-readable format.
And it did so in the form of a wiki, an interactive document that enables any registered user to add to or amend the draft policies, so the public and city agencies can literally write in their own version of what they think the new rules should be. All revisions are saved under a page’s “history” tab so changes are recorded.
Think of it as Wikipedia for government. As far as anyone can recall, the wiki is the first of its kind for a city administration.
The wiki format, said, DoITT’s director of research and development Andrew Nicklin, “is an attempt to drive things in an interactive and iterative manner. Why pass a Word doc around when we can all make changes collaboratively?” The process also lets the agencies that will be answerable to the new law be a part of the conversation, he said.
The wiki will be open for comments for the next couple of months, at which point DoITT staff will compile the input, review it internally and issue final data standards in September.