We have talked about various “government 2.0” initiatives on this blog, and now the Living Labs Global Award 2011, in partnership with San Francisco, is searching out companies that promote, create, or encourage the next generation of government. One such group I have found has created OpenGovernment.org, a “free and open source public resource website for government transparency and civic engagement at the state and local levels.” This is a follow-up to their project OpenCongress.org, a similar resource but for the national U.S. Congress. They’ve taken open data to the next level – merely by undertaking the project, they’ve uncovered the sad truth that many governmental agencies are not in compliance with the Principles of Open Government Data, meaning OpenGovernment has to go out and find it on their own (and they do) and additionally they have provided an accountability service in so doing, encouraging more states and localities to comply and upgrade their data.
So far, five states have been covered in the project (California, Louisiana, Maryland, Texas, and Wisconsin). Recent bills, key votes, congressional makeup, and noteworthy events are all listed on the main state page. It’s a quick and easy way to catch up on all the civics homework you’ve been putting off as a citizen. It may also be a quick and easy way to hold elected officials accountable for their decisions.