Jan 26, 2009

120 Day Countdown to Transparency and Open Government

The President published a Memorandum today outlining instructions and and three principles for open and transparent government. [bold emphasis mine]
  1. Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.

  2. Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government's effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.

  3. Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector. Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation. --Read the whole memo.
The end result of this will be an Open Government Directive with instructions for all federal departments and agencies to implement the principles. In 120 days.

Note also that the yet-to-be-named CTO is on the hook for developing the open gov directive.

Last note, I can't seem to navigate to the page on whitehouse.gov--I can only get there from the link that I got from a tweet from the fabulous David Fletcher, CTO for the state of Utah.

1 comment:

  1. OK, Gwynn, I'm going back to the start of the Countdown, to start a log for comments about this phenomenal document. Time is short. I'm an old guy and now that we have a mandate to act, I stand ready to declare, in plain language, my intention to participate fully in an ongoing collaborative effort to make this directive a reality. Where do we meet, and can I bring the coffee?


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