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.
Over six months later, we can say that IdeaHub really works! Since launch more than 2,400 ideas, 33,000 ratings on those ideas, and 7,500 comments have been submitted by DOT employees. To date, the DOT has also sponsored four idea challenges that have focused employee’s collaborative brainstorming efforts on issues ranging from environmental sustainability to emergency preparedness. Many highly rated ideas as determined by DOT employees have been implemented or are moving towards implementation.
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.