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Open Government Public Deadline Nears

A broad brainstorming initiative, in which the public is invited to submit ideas to the federal government, nears its end.

The deadline is approaching for the public to submit ideas about how the government can work better for its citizens. The Open Government Directive mass brainstorming campaign will accept via its open government Web pages though March 19.

So far, 1,823 ideas have earned 19,181 votes and 3,049 comments, according to a Web site tracking progress of the initiative.

NASA is the agency for which there have been the most suggestions; it's at the top of the list for ideas, votes, and comments. To date, 329 ideas have been submitted to that agency, which have garnered 4,199 votes and 656 comments.

One idea, which yielded 187 votes and 68 comments, is from a person named Karen Shea, who suggested NASA hold a conference on space solar power in collaboration with the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce and university researchers, as well as corporations and countries developing solar power solutions.

"The conference would develop ideas on how best to bring this technology to reality," she wrote. "Space solar power offers unlimited, green, base load power. It is now time to turn this futuristic concept into reality with NASA in the lead."

Other agencies that have generated a fair amount of ideas are the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs, with 175 ideas each, followed by the Department of Homeland Security, with 135 ideas.

Some agencies that haven't earned many ideas from citizens, are the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), according to the tracker site.

The USAID has the dubious honor of pulling in the fewest ideas (16) and comments (13), while the NRC has drawn the fewest votes (112).

A White House blog post lists all of the agencies taking suggestions on their respective Web sites. They include all of the major government departments, agencies and commissions.

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