Office of Management and Budget last week, Director Peter Orszag outlined the implementation guidelines [PDF] for the new stimulus bill, requiring all government agencies to provide a feed to disclose funds allocated, and optimize Web pages in an effort to help the public find relevant information through search engines.In a memo from the
"For each of the near term reporting requirements (major communications, formula block grant allocations, weekly reports) agencies are required to provide a feed (preferred: Atom 1.0, acceptable: RSS) of the information so that content can be delivered via subscription."
Atom has always had a lot of support, particularly from Google, and now it appears to have the support of the new government as well. We won't go into the differences between Atom and RSS here, there are many schools of thought, suffice to say, the Obama administration, it appears has truly embraced Web 2.0.
In addition to asking for feeds to disclose where funds are allocated; the stimulus bill guidelines for Web sites read much like Google's own Webmaster guidelines, and as Google points out: "Following these guidelines will help Google find, index, and rank your site." Exactly what the new government needs if it wants the people of the world to have quick access to its information.
While the document states that agencies are not expected to develop new sites, each agency must dedicate a page of its primary site to stimulus activities, and the pages must be up by February 25, 2009.
Here at ReadWriteWeb, we have always maintained that the new government is leading the way with openness and transparency, and once again we must give kudos to the new administration in bringing the true meaning of Web 2.0 to the government.