White House Seeks Input on Public Participation Tool, ExpertNet

The White House is seeking input on a proposed software tool intended to make it easier for knowledgeable citizens to share their expertise with government officials.

The proposed “next-generation” tool, ExpertNet, is a collaboration among the White House Open Government Initiative, General Services Administration, and Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Performance and Personnel Management.

In a memo released December 8, 2010, Designing for Democracy, the White House explains: “One vexing challenge to engaging Americans in governance has been finding new models and tools for the next generation of citizen consultation.”

The hope for ExpertNet is that it will provide a way for the government to notify people with expertise on a particular topic of opportunities to participate in public consultations. It also should provide those citizen experts with a means of submitting useful, relevant and manageable feedback to government officials.

The government is accepting online comments on ExpertNet through January 7, 2011. Comments may also be sent to the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy at expertnet@ostp.gov.