White House open sources “We the People” petition app

If you want to design a petition for your town government, group or agency, you can now download the source code for the White House’s  “We The People” online petition application from GitHub and tweak it for your own use.

The stated goal of this move is to let other groups —  state, local or foreign governments or non governmental organizations (NGOs)  —  use the same code, adjusted for their constituencies. The application uses Drupal, the open source content management system, MySQL(s orcl), MongoDB and PHP, and the code is covered under the GNU General Public License.

Several government agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission, NASA, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the General Services Administration, also use GitHub as a code repository for  various projects, according to the publication FedScoop.

The Obama Administration launched the We The People portal last September as a way for citizens to register their own views and find or launch petitions. A quick review of the site shows petitions asking the administration to implement no-fly zone over Syria (231 signatures) and to  release the recipe for the White House’s home-brewed honey ale (4,167 signatures.)

The release of the source code is part of the administration’s bigger plan to push big data and “open data” as a way to streamline and cut costs.

To see how the application works, check out the video.

Feature photo courtesy of  Flickr user Tom Lohdan