Sometimes it's the simple things that make the biggest differences--that's true for eGovernment as well. Rep. John Dougall has proposed HB222 in the Utah House to require that "a public body which holds regular meetings that are scheduled in advance over the course of a year shall give public notice at least once each year of its annual meeting schedule...on the Internet, in a manner that is easily accessible to citizens that use the Internet"
This is a good move and takes advantage of the strengths of the Internet to inform citizens of when their government is meeting. Naturally, I have a few suggestions:
- Utah.gov ought to make it easy to find all of these either through a central calendar or some other kind of aggregation of distributed solutions.
- Changes ought to be available via RSS, providing a way to notify people of changes.
- The calendars themselves ought to be available in iCalendar format so that you can subscribe to the calendar.
- Both the above two features ought to be available in various slices and categories, by agency, timeframe, topic, and so on.
Now, the bill shouldn't specify these design details (except maybe the first), but it ought to specify an owner who has the legal ability to make rules about the calendar (rules are legally binding).
Update: Listen to the UTC meeting from Nov 15, 2006 to hear the discussion of this item. It starts about 18:15 in.