“Useful But Prohibited”: Air Force Openness Lags – Annotated
Some of the steps that are favored by the Obama Administration to open up government to public access and participation may be “useful” but they are nevertheless “prohibited” on U.S. Air Force web sites, according to a new Air Force policy instruction.
In a January 21, 2009 memorandum on transparency and open government, President Obama directed that “Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public…. Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation.”
The U.S. Air Force has a different vision, however.
A new Air Force policy on public communications (pdf) observed that “web-based message boards, threaded chat rooms, and guest books… allow users to post opinions, messages, or information openly on a web site. They provide a useful means of creating two-way communication but are prohibited as part of public web site services (sec. 10)”
These new Air Force directives, and another Air Force Instruction on Public Affairs Policies and Procedures (pdf) that was modified last week, do not even mention the January 2009 Obama transparency memorandum, and certainly do not reflect its declared intent.
The impact of the President’s January memorandum has been deferred because the implementing Open Government Directive that was originally due for release in May has still not been completed.
- – post by TransTracker
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