POLITICS
01/29/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama Releases Latest Transparency Tool

The Obama transition rolled out a new version of one of its transparency tools on Monday: an updated website that allows interested observers to more easily read and submit questions to the staff.

A few weeks ago, the President-elect's new media team put together an "Open For Questions" feature that provided a platform for citizens to query the team on relevant topics. The move was hailed by good-government groups as a nod towards inclusiveness and accountability. There were some complaints, however, as questions surrounding Obama's involvement (or lack thereof) in the Rod Blagojevich controversy were flagged by users and pushed to the bottom of popularity rankings.

Nevertheless, the general goal of the venture was met. Visitors to change.gov pushed to the forefront questions that they most wanted the President-elect to field. Now, they will have an easier time doing it. The new function to the site allows viewers to sort questions -- on which they can vote -- by category or topic. As the page reads:

"In this round, you can still view all of the questions that have been submitted -- or you can break down the questions by category for easier navigation. For instance, you can read the top-ranking question regarding Energy and the Environment and browse through other questions on the same topic by clicking on that issue.

We think this change is valuable. It serves the other key purpose of features like Open for Questions: making your input easy to pass on to the members of our Transition team that are crafting solutions to these vital issues right now."

For the full release and the updated site, click here.