Friday, November 14, 2008
DC Council: "I Want to Tear Off Your LIMS!"
This is not a threat of violence, but a reference to the D.C. Council's Legislative Information Management System, aka "LIMS."
LIMS is what citizens use to pull up legislation being considered by the council and check its status. Now, maybe it's because I am a lawyer and policy wonk who has every state legislature's bill tracking website hotlinked at work, but I think transparency and knowing what the heck they are passing in the Wilson Building that will impact our lives for better or worse is of particular concern. But the old DC Council website was probably the worst in the country. Good luck finding out where legislation stands, who amended what, and what is becoming law.
So I was excited to hear that the Council was finally working on bringing their website out of the year that Al Gore invented the internet. When the new website came online a few weeks ago, I was pleased. Then again, the website had no where to go but up. Today's average fifth grader at a non-failing DC public school could have substantially improved it.
Would the new LIMS actually tell me the accurate current status of the legislation? Would it allow me to pull up any amendments and the vote on each? Might it provide the testimony submitted to the council? Would it alert me to upcoming hearings? Might it even include links to the video of past hearings? Wow.
I click the link. Damn it, same old LIMS. It's back to the future, the best in technology circa 1993.