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ExpertNet RFI

The ExpertNet Request for Information (RFI) online consultation launched on December 8, 2010 and is scheduled to last through January 7, 2011.

From the announcement:

With this notice, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) requests input, comment, and ideas from the public on a draft concept for next-generation citizen consultation, namely a government-wide software tool and process to elicit expert public participation (working title “ExpertNet”). ExpertNet would tap the expertise of the public in a manageable and structured format. The goal of ExpertNet is to enable government officials to search for and communicate with citizens who have expertise on a topic, giving them the opportunity to participate in a public consultation relevant to their areas of interest and know-how, and pose questions to and interact with the public to receive useful, relevant, and manageable feedback. This Request for Information (RFI) will be active from December 8, 2010 to January 7, 2011. Respondents are invited to provide comments about or edits directly to the draft of the concept paper via an online discussion forum and wiki hosted by the White House Open Government Initiative and GSA and located at http://expertnet.wikispaces.com (the “Wiki”). In addition, respondents who cannot access the Wiki are welcome to download a copy of the concept paper at http://www.whitehouse.gov/open and e-mail comments to expertnet@ostp.gov.

From the website:

Background Information

The United States General Services Administration (GSA) and the White House Open Government Initiative are soliciting your feedback on a concept for next generation citizen consultation, namely a government-wide software tool and process to elicit expert public participation (working title “ExpertNet”). ExpertNet could:

1. Enable government officials to circulate notice of opportunities to participate in public consultations to members of the public with expertise on a topic.
2. Provide those volunteer experts with a mechanism to provide useful, relevant, and manageable feedback back to government officials.

The proposed concept is intended to be complementary to two of the ways the Federal government currently obtains expertise to inform decision-making, namely by convening Federal Advisory Committees and announcing public comment opportunities in the Federal Register.

We are looking for you to provide:

* Any refinements or suggestions you have to improve the process as described;
* Any issues (legal, policy, technical) raised by the features described;
* Any tools that you know of that perform the process described in that step;
* Any organizations (public or private) that have a similar platform in place.

To be clear, there is currently no funding identified for building this platform. When possible, respondents should be sure that feedback addresses opportunities including multi-sector partnerships for implementing solutions at little to no cost.

According to the publicly available site metrics, he number of registered wiki users was 44. The total number of active editors was at around 125 (the site doesn’t require wiki membership in order to make edits, users just need to be logged into Wikispaces).

On January 6, 2011, the project was extended by another two weeks: ExpertNet: Two More Weeks to Weigh In

Additional information

Tools used

A list of tools that were used during this project: