Navy out with one of the first Web 2.0 policy memos
Robert Carey, the CIO of the Department of the Navy, was the first CIO with a public blog. Well, now the Department of Navy’s CIO’s office is out with what I believe is one of the first policy memo on the use of Web 2.0. We’re working to get Carey on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris soon to talk about it.
The Oct. 20, 2008 memo is not very specific — it is only five pages, and a lot of that is definitions. I think that is on purpose. Carey told me that they left it somewhat vague — this is a first go at a policy and I think there is an acknowledgment that this is going to have to evolve as the tools evolve. The policy is designed to guide and to ensure that people think — and address — all of the important issues, such as security, for example.
Two key quotes from the document:
- Do it — safely: “The Department endorses the secure use of Web 2.0 tools to enhance communication, collaboration, and information exchange; streamline processes; and foster productivity improvements. Useof these tools supports Department of Defense (DoD) and DON goals of achieving an interoperable, net-centric environment by improving the warfighter’s effectiveness through seamless access to critical information. Web 2.0 tools are useful in a global enterprise, such as the DON,’ as they enable widely dispersed commands and personnel to more effectively collaborate and share information.”
- Why it matters: “The gains in productivity, efficiency, and innovation can be significant. Commands are encouraged to use Web 2.0 tools, consistent with applicable laws, regulations, and policies.
- Let’s be careful out there: “While these collaborative tools present many useful opportunities, their application must not compromise data confidentiality and integrity.”
The National Academy of Public Administration’s Collaboration Project is also working on a framework of a government Web 2.0 policy. They had initial meetings last week — no, they wouldn’t let me attend. They hope to have a framework out early next year.
EPA CIO Molly O’Neill put out a memo on Web 2.0 on Dec. 17, 2007. I’m not sure if that was technically a policy, but… The memo presented the “initial guidelines for the use of Web 2.0 at EPA, which presented some precursory guidelines for the use of Web 2.0 as we explore these technologies and put them to use at EPA.
Here are those principles:
- We are all beginning to consider how we can best use Web 2.0 at EPA. As we learn, we need to keep the following in mind:
- Normal product review processes apply to using Web 2.0 for public access. Please discuss any ideas you have with your content and infrastructure coordinators (see the list at http://www.epa.gov/webgovernance/leadership.html). Through the Web Council, they will coordinate with both OEI and the Office of Public Affairs.
- We will be seeking guidance from the Office of General Counsel on whether the use of the Web 2.0 technologies raises any new legal issues. In the interim, please refer to OEI’s existing information policies and guidance concerning the use of the Agency’s website and the Internet, which are available at http://intranet.epa.gov/oei/imitpolicy/policies.htm; Web-specific policies, orders, and memoranda are at http://yosemite.epa.gov/oei/webguide.nsf/policy/home.
- The Agency currently has only one external blog, “Flow of the River” (http://flowoftheriver.epa.gov), written by Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock. We’re learning a lot, and it’s possible we will have more blogs, but it will probably be several months.
Like all federal agencies, we are grappling with many technical and policy issues. Early adopters may need to adjust to emerging approaches.
I think these policies are important. I think it is also important that they focus on collaboration — what can be accomplished. Many organizations already have a ton of hurdles. They need to enable the testing of the water, not be yet another reason to be afraid of the Web 2.0 swimming pool.