[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 235 (Wednesday, December 8, 2010)]
[Pages 76467-76468]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-30861]



[Docket 2010-0005; Sequence 14]

Draft Concept for Government-Wide ``ExpertNet'' Platform and 
Process To Elicit Expert Public Participation in Response to Government 

AGENCY: U.S. General Services Administration.

ACTION: Notice; request for public comment.


SUMMARY: 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 [email protected].

DATES: Comments must be posted at http://expertnet.wikispaces.com or 
received via e-mail by January 7, 2011.
    Comments submitted in response to this notice whether via the Wiki 
or e-mail will be available to the public online. For this reason, 
please do not include in your comments information of a confidential 
nature, such as sensitive personal information or proprietary 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: [email protected]. This inbox will 
close on January 8, 2011.
    Background: On his first full day in office, President Obama issued 
the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government in which he 
declared: ``Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public 
officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge.'' 
Upon signing the Memorandum, the President explained the 
Administration's commitment to creating opportunities for Americans to 
participate in government:

    Our commitment to openness means more than simply informing the 
American people about how decisions are made. It means recognizing 
that government does not have all the answers and that public 
officials need to draw on what citizens know.

Invitation To Comment

    To that end, GSA is soliciting your feedback on a draft concept for 
a consultation platform to obtain timely, manageable, and relevant 
information for making decisions. The explanation of this concept (also 
known as a ``use case'') states in broad terms how the envisioned 
software platform and process for soliciting public expertise would 
work to:
     Enable government officials to circulate notice of 
opportunities for the public to share its expertise on a topic.
     Provide the public with a mechanism to provide useful, 
relevant, and manageable feedback to government officials.
    The proposed platform 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 respondents to read the concept paper and 
    1. Any refinements or suggestions to improve the process as 
    2. Any issues (legal, policy, technical) raised by the features 
    3. Information about any tools that perform the process described 
in that step.
    4. Pointers to organizations (public or private) that have a 
similar platform in place.
    To be clear, there is currently no funding identified for building 
this platform nor is it clear if future funding will be available. 
Hence, respondents should be sure that feedback, when possible, 
addresses opportunities for implementing solutions at little to no 
cost, including multi-sector partnerships.
    [cir] There are three ways to provide feedback:
    [cir] Respondents may make edits directly to the use case via the 
    [cir] Alternatively, respondents may review each section of the use 
case and provide comments via an online discussion forum on the Wiki.

[[Page 76468]]

    [cir] In the event respondents cannot access the Wiki, they may e-
mail comments to [email protected].

    Dated: December 3, 2010.
Keith D. Thurston,
Assistant Associate Administrator, Citizen Services and Innovative 
[FR Doc. 2010-30861 Filed 12-7-10; 8:45 am]