RI gubernatorial candidate releases open government roadmap

Earlier this week former Senator and current independent candidate for Governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee, announced plans to make his state more open and transparent, if elected. Among the pillars of his “Open Government” initiative is a more transparent and open procurement process, information sharing standards and the use of SeeClickFix.

This past Monday Mr. Chafee expressed his intentions to jump into the Gov2.0 era of open government data, easily accessible government data, social networking and citizen-centric government by vowing to issue an Executive Order to open Rhode Island government.

“My Open Government initiative will make it much easier for citizens and government employees to access information and services presently residing in obscurity, and to connect with and learn from each other,” Chafee said in a statement. “Further, this initiative will cut costs by opening up the procurement process to generate more competition and increased compatibility with municipal governments.”

Chafee’s Open Government Initiative would utilize modern information technologies by moving more services online, upgrading RI.gov and enhancing the state’s Information & Data Center portal. He also said the state’s tax policies and performance goals would be added to the revamped government website.

Beyond the state website, Mr. Chafee vowed to help Rhode Islanders become stewards of their own neighborhoods by using SeeClickFix to report non-emergency issues in their neighborhoods. A “SeeClickFix Storm” has been initiated by Mr. Chafee’s supporters in Providence. According to the open government plan, supporters will be asked to spend a weekend logging local issues using SeeClickFix to jumpstart the tool’s use in his administration.

Additional nods were given to GovLoop and GSA’s BetterBuy Project.

Chafee vowed to join and encourage others in his administration to collaborate through GovLoop so Rhode Island could learn from other states. “I am dedicated to learning from the economic development and job creation policies of other states,” Chafee wrote in his plan. “Participating in GovLoop will allow Rhode Island to learn from existing solutions and share best practices, both externally and internally.”

And what are the odds that the former Senator will become Rhode Island’s first independent governor? Recent local polls have Chafee and his Democratic challenger in a statistical dead heat. Time will tell if open government advocates have a home in Rhode Island.

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