I’m from the wiki; I’m here to help you

The Office of Management and Budget (which as part of the executive branch oversees the U.S. budget) has created a wiki for federal agencies to use as part of their budgeting process.

Details in this morning’s Washington Post. Launched a year ago, the wiki has more than 5,500 members (though it’s not open to everyone). It’s helped do things like compile a database of nearly 13,500 earmarks (special congressional funding projects) in less than 10 weeks.

Among useful features:

  • Users can add attachments of up to 100 megabytes.
  • Information includes a user directory with phone numbers and email, “an inportant feature…[when] people transfer among agencies or take different jobs every few years.”
  • Users can restrict pages to “invitation only,” or open them only to certain groups.

That last point would be heresy at Wikipedia, but in government, corporate, and organizational circles, it often makes sense.

Of course, the closed nature means I couldn’t find a link, though I did stumble across the Government IT Wiki as well as a reference to Intellipedia, used by U.S. intelligence agencies.