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 »

Submitted by (@colinake)
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Develop an OpenState Social Strategy

Disruptive Technologies: A Holistic, Pragmatic Approach New technologies are emerging at a faster pace than Agencies can swallow. The rate of obsolescence outpaces the pace of change. Despite the new technology flood, Agencies lack a strategy to on-board these disruptions. As a result, they often react, flounder, or simply ignore them. We can solve these problems in four major areas of practice: Leadership ...more »

Submitted by (@megan.eskey1)
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Data Availability, Information Quality, Accountability...

FOIA and USCIS merger – loss or gain?

While reiterating on transparency, improvement of social relations and government-to-people reciprocity, big shots tend to deviate from the mainstream of our everyday vital commodities – rights, duties, and responsibilities. It is a paradox but a fact; my case that turned into a nightmare from the very beginning could vividly picture how “paper”, not a common sense, determines destiny. This is about an abandoned US citizen ...more »

Submitted by (@maia00)
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Send a team of diplomatic recruiters to schools & local TV

We send armed forces recruiters around to the schools, why not send out diplomatic recruiters too? Why not do some interviews on the tv channels to education people. Most kids and US citizens, for that matter, have no idea about foreign service officer careers unless they grew up in a family of diplomats. I constantly come across kids in university that have no clue about the possibility of a diplomatic career or what ...more »

Submitted by (@r.sunset)
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New Ways of Doing Business, New Tools...

21st Century Communication

Aloha All, Pertaining to Family Based Visa Interviews. Having read the topic on this site and several others,and being a victim of the rubber stamp era. Why can't the US Embassies/Consulates utilize the technolgies available ,in stead of using couriers ,ups,or the us post office.Time is the enemy to the visa process ,the system processes enable lazy consular officers to pass it back to square one because they fell behind ...more »

Submitted by (@fitzthum)
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Embassies MUST reconcile local traveler db w/the db on-line db

Background: Registration can be done in person at an embassy, on-line or in some cases both. In my particular case I registered in person as the on-line system was not yet in service. Shortly thereafter the system did go on-line. I then registered on-line and logged all trips abroad. In most of the cases once I marked my trip as complete I also stopped receiving the email messages specific to that country. However, ...more »

Submitted by (@r.sunset)
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Local embassy jobs need to be publicily advertised

Problem: Embassy jobs (not foreign service officer type) should be mandated to publicly advertised either by a local newspaper, telephone recording, paper posted at the embassy guard post, or by the web. Background: Spouses of embassy employees and veterans are supposed to have an opportunity to apply for vacancies at the embassies. However, as I discovered while living in Timor-Leste such opportunities are not made ...more »

Submitted by (@r.sunset)
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Standardize embassy and bureau social media

I've noticed that several embassies have social media presences but that their info is not aggregated into one place on State's web site. Why not sort and list it in an easy-to-view place based upon region/bureau to make it easier for the public to interact with DoS? Also, there should be a standard naming scheme in saying Twitter feeds such as usembassy_paraguay, instead of the embassy in Paraguay currently being called ...more »

Submitted by (@michaeldurmont)
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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 »

Submitted by (@hankinchris)
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Information associated with geographic areas as data sets

Make information associated with geographic areas available as a data downloads. In the data sets, links to pages on state.gov could be included in the row for unformatted information on a subject (e.g. general country information). Examples: Trafficking in persons: http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2009/124799.htm Travel Warnings: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html Travel Alerts: ...more »

Submitted by (@renesugar)
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Put visitor logs online, for those who meet any State employee

Put visitor logs online, for any person who meets any State Department employee. Citizens have the right to know who their State Dept. employees of every type of pay grade get to meet and make deals with. For example, which oil company executives were meeting with State Dept. agents, employees, appointees, and contractors over the last fifty years? That would make some enlightening reading. It would make FOIA requests ...more »

Submitted by (@scholasticus)
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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 »

Submitted by (@stephen)
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