Over the past year, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has laid the foundation for making high-value data more readily available by leveraging Data.gov. Making data more available is not a simple process. It requires coordination from all levels of the Department to ensure that security, privacy and confidentially are all protected. DOT has worked diligently to lay the policy and guidance framework to make this happen over the last year.
The U.S. DOT thus decided to use a relatively novel method, a prize, to undertake a new program to develop new applications, devices, products, business solutions, and a range of services that improve transportation’s role in safety and quality of life. The DOT believes that there are new approaches, partnerships and devices for using DSRC that innovators among the broader public can and will devise, if they are called to participate. In this spirit, on January 24, 2011, the Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) launched a challenge on challenge.gov called the “Connected Vehicle Technology Challenge”. The idea submission portion of the challenge will end on May 1, 2011.
Since 2002, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Strategic Plan has been the product of extensive collaboration among leaders, industry stakeholders, the flying public, and employees. Each year, these constituencies have been solicited for their input, and each year their collaboration has helped make the plan better than it otherwise would have been. However, there has never been a way for all of these constituencies to join together in an online conversation in a single space. Typically, the plan would have been sent in hardcopy to industry representatives, posted on the FAA intranet and displayed on the FAA Web page with a “suggestion box” or email address to submit comments. In 2011, FAA was seeking a new way to engage in this dialogue.
Regulation Room (www.regulationroom.org) is an innovative pilot program between the Department of Transportation and researchers from Cornell University’s Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative (CeRI) that allows the general public to comment on and discuss proposed Federal rules through a transparent and intuitive online social platform.
During FY 2010, the DOT made good progress in applying the presumption of openness, making proactive disclosures, and ensuring that DOT has systems in place to effectively respond to FOIA requests. In addition, DOT reduced its backlog of initial FOIA requests by 38 percent and its backlog of FOIA administrative appeals by 12 percent. You can read more in our 2010 Freedom of Information Act Report and our 2011 Chief FOIA Officer’s Report.