If the Obama administration wants to encourage more effective two-way communications with the public, then it should establish a hotline where people can report allegations of violations of federal laws, including by federal employees. For example, I'm aware of a chronic pattern of trespass livestock grazing on BLM lands in apparent violation of the Endangered Species Act and Federal Land Policy and Management Act. Months ago, I reported this on the Interior Department, BLM, and White House public input web sites. I received no acknowledgement, and have no indication that anyone is even reading my comments. It is very frustrating. Many states have well-established hotlines where people can report cases of alleged poaching or perhaps other resource related violations. But I am not aware of any such hotline at the federal level relating to resource issues. It would be great to call someone at a federal hotline number and report allegations of violations. In addition, all such calls and alleged violations should be recorded to create a searchable data base. The hotline office would then forward the allegations to the appropriate federal agency for investigation. While this may sound like a "top down" approach, the reason this level of objectivity and accountability is needed is because some local federal offices are aware of the violations but have not addressed them. Reporting the alleged violations locally goes nowhere, and may get the reporting party in trouble, especially if the violations are "political" in terms of the local political culture. The law is the law, and alleged violations should be objectively investigated regardless of where they occur. I hope the Obama administration has the courage to establish this hotline, because it should be a far more user-friendly, efficient, and effective way to obtain important public information. And talking to someone on the telephone is better than submitting many webform comments and never getting any feedback.
Idea No. 12