Public Direction

Giving all citizens a say in the federal budgetary process.

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Frequently Asked Questions



Is Public Direction copyrighted?

The Public Direction website, and all documents and materials available within it, is under the Creative Commons license, 'Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.' This license states that you are allowed to copy and distribute our work in a noncommercial fashion, that you are not allowed to create derivatives of Public Direction, and that you must attribute the work to us.

A simple layout of the term of this license can be found at this link, and the detailed legal code is available at this link.

If you plan to use Public Direction in any fashion, we would love to hear from you. Please send us an email with your ideas and intentions.

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I received the error, 'Invalid form submission,' when I tried to submit my ratings. What does this mean?

When you open the Rate the Departments web page your browsing session is assigned an ID code. This error will be returned when your assigned ID code does not match the code processed by our server. This precaution is taken as a security measure. This ID code also helps us to regulate form submission by making it so the data is sent only once to our server at a given time.

If you have received this error, it may be helpful to try an alternate web browser or to access our site from a different computer. If the problem is persistent, please send us an email. We may be able to work with you so that we can enter your ratings manually.

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Why should I submit my ratings to Public Direction if they aren't going to be used by the government?

Your ratings are essentially part of a testing phase. Public Direction has been submitted to the federal government and our proposal will be much more influential if it is seen that we have support.

The framework of this system is mostly complete. However, this does not mean that changes will not be made. It is up to the public to help us shape Public Direction in the best way possible.

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Why do I have to provide an email address when I submit my ratings? Will my email address be kept confidential?

The requirement of an email address provides several levels of security.

When the ratings are submitted a verification email is sent to the address you provide. This allows us to make sure that a human is submitting, and not a computer program. In addition, your address is checked against our records to make sure that a set of ratings has not been submitted once before with that same address.

Public Direction will use your email address for no reason beyond these security measures. In order to protect your privacy, your address will be encrypted once it is put into our server. This means that the original form,, will turn into a string of letters and numbers, such as d41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e. The encryption is one-way, meaning that we will be able to create the string from your email, but we will not be able to reverse the process.

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Creative Commons License
by Casey Houser and Christian Yaeger
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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