Monday, November 24, 2008

Epic Win: TSA blog

The Transportation Security Administration has a blog and a team behind it tasked with maintaining it. This is extraordinary: a government agency connecting with the public it serves in a direct way without the buffer of traditional media.

Yes, the TSA is being taken to task for various issues by various comments pointing out various issues, but the fact the communication channel has been opened is extraordinary in government in general, and even more so in the national security area.

It would be nice if the blog team responded to a few more comments directly, but the reality is that the complex world of a large organization, the law, politics, Congress and public opinion may mean that the blog team can not always post or reply candidly or quickly. There is still progress to be made.

This is a win because the TSA is doing something very American which few security forces of any nation in history have ever allowed: they are letting the public openly critique and complain on a forum they created and control.

These early efforts at transparency and public engagement can lead them to vast improvements, and I hope they continue in this direction. The efforts of the men and women of the TSA, a new agency, have been effectively guarding air traffic on both routine flights and special occasions (e.g., Katrina evacuation) for about seven years. With this social media dialog and other communication, perhaps the gulf between those securing the skies and the passengers flying them can be bridged leading to efficient, safe and convenient air travel.

No comments: