(@susan0)

Data Availability, Information Quality, Accountability...

Clear benchmarks on Sudan

The State Department has not publicly disclosed the precise benchmarks it is applying to assess progress in Sudan. The outcome of the first quarterly review of the U.S. Sudan policy by the National Security Council Deputies Committee was undisclosed. In Sudan, tensions are high with the April national elections and January 2011 referendum on independence for southern Sudan rapidly approaching. I strongly encourage the... more »

Voting

82 votes
Active
(@jaorangemen)

Data Availability, Information Quality, Accountability...

The Department of State should live webcast all meetings

The Department of State should live webcast all meetings for proposed rule making and regulations where the public comment should take place. They should make these meetings available for on demand viewing and have the ability to have that content be indexed for video search. By doing this the public and stakeholders will be able to see the inner workings of the rule making process and make the content and proceedings... more »

Voting

25 votes
Active
(@ash000)

Data Availability, Information Quality, Accountability...

Family-Based Visa Interviews, Denials, Need for Uniform Policies

Echoing bby_horne and Stephen's comments, there are currently too many discrepancies between individual embassies and consulates and how they go about issuing Family-Based Visas (K-1, K-3, CR-1, etc). More training and stricter control by the DoS would go a long way in making sure that individual consulates and individual consular officers are not overstepping bounds, conducting visa interviews with fairness, and behaving... more »

Voting

24 votes
Active
(@stephen)

Data Availability, Information Quality, Accountability...

Family Visa Denials; K-1,K-3,CR-1, IR-1

Refusals of Family Based visas causes undue suffering and pain. Visa refusals can take months or years to overcome. The time of separation is agonizing for the family, and the stress of visa refusals can tear families apart. Consular officers often deny family based visas for the reason of "lack of a bonifide relationship." The consular officers make these refusals without a factual basis. Instead they base their reasons... more »

Voting

22 votes
Active
(@michaelwalsh)

New Ways of Doing Business, New Tools...

Advance Open Diplomacy in Parallel with Open Government

The U.S. Government should invest significant resources to advance the concept of open diplomacy. This new construct would rely heavily upon the U.S. Government’s existing e-diplomacy and public diplomacy tradition. However, it would not be limited to these disciplines. Open diplomacy would serve as the overall diplomatic strategy for the country - placing new emphasis on: 1) increasing transparency, promoting openness,... more »

Voting

11 votes
Active
(@erik.streed)

Data Availability, Information Quality, Accountability...

Passport process tracking

It would be helpful for the State Department to setup a process tracking website for the passport process. Something similar to how FedEx/UPS/USPS allow you to track packages and get email updates about their status. E.g. that application for renewal has been received, new passport has been send, etc. This is particularly important for US citzens living overseas who may need to use their passport on a regular basis and... more »

Voting

18 votes
Active

Data Availability, Information Quality, Accountability...

221g Administrative processing timeline

Also with 221g Administrative processing, there should be a deadline on when it would be completed. I have read a lot of forums that some people have been waiting for years to get a response. Others are still waiting. During this long waiting period, the petitioner and beneficiary go thru pain and suffering, and the frustration that the US government is not doing enough for them. It is also frustrating to call USCIS and... more »

Voting

8 votes
Active
(@stephen)

Data Availability, Information Quality, Accountability...

Ombudsman for Consular Affairs

The State Department needs an Office of Ombudsman for Consular Affairs. An Office of Ombudsman will provide a venue for citizens to express ideas for improvement, and to complain when the Office of Consular Affairs is failing in its mission. Changes, recommendations, and complaints could be made about the many areas of responsibility for Consular Affairs such as visa issuance, passports, U. S. Citizens services, etc.... more »

Voting

14 votes
Active
(@colinake)

Working Together: Governments, Businesses, Non-Profits...

Fix ITAR

Fix ITAR. Small companies are being handicapped by having to devote extraordinary amounts of time and money to comply with ITAR policies. Talk to commercial space companies (and other impacted industries) about their experiences, determine what's broken and how to better the situation, and then actually fix it. Find the middle ground where certain information is kept from those that do not need to acquire it but small... more »

Voting

13 votes
Active
(@bbbyhorne)

Data Availability, Information Quality, Accountability...

Visa Interview Policies..

In regards to Visas for Spouse or Fiance/Fiancee, It would not cost our government $1 more to do the Visa Interview in a Professional and Fair manner. There is very little information as to the "Real/Actual Requirements" on Visa Interview Policies, only the VAGUE guidelines, that a Visa Interview Officer may or may not use. Obtaining a Visa SOLELY rest with the Visa Interview Officer's DISCRETION, which means, "ability... more »

Voting

12 votes
Active
(@christophercoen)

Working Together: Governments, Businesses, Non-Profits...

Process PRM used for increasing funding for refugee resettlement

The State Department's PRM recently went ahead, in the middle of this worst recession on record, and doubled resettlement and placement (R&P) per capita funding to the private refugee resettlement agencies. A PRM official said that the increase was done based on new funding that was available as well as on a cost-analysis study (The Real Cost of Welcome) done by one of the non-profit recipients of the increase - Lutheran... more »

Voting

4 votes
Active
(@kohlgill)

Working Together: Governments, Businesses, Non-Profits...

Publish Winning Grant Proposals to Improve Proposal Caliber

The Department often seeks proposals for grants to perform international engagement, like election monitoring in Afghanistan, or supporting women's rights in Iraq. Often the most innovative proposals come from small, new organizations with little experience with the Department's proposal process. These organizations don't have access to complete, published proposals that have won previous grants. They either flounder... more »

Voting

10 votes
Active
(@jason.miller)

Working Together: Governments, Businesses, Non-Profits...

Mass atrocities input form

I think individuals and organizations should be able to submit a defined set of forms and supporting evidence (as specified by State) showing that mass atrocities are happening in a particular region. Assuming evidentiary standards that State lays out for the input forms is met, then State will automatically follow-up and issue an analysis of the situation, including an assessment of all possible actions that could be... more »

Voting

13 votes
Active
(@hankinchris)

Public Feedback & Involvement, Tools & Strategies...

Better leverage open source software and open IT

The 1,600 members of Open Source for America are dedicated to supporting and guiding federal efforts to make the US government more open through the use of open source software. We have established recommendations for all agencies to consider in their Open Government Plans, with these recommendations especially highlighting the need to remove barriers to the successful leveraging of open source software and open IT more... more »

Voting

8 votes
Active