Real results from the Open Government initiative: next steps

Real results from the Open Government initiative: next steps


Hey, the folks at the White House have just released Wrap-Up of the Open Government Brainstorming: Transparency

This is a really big deal, showing that they're listening and acting, which is really challenging considered that it involves overcoming a lot of organizational inertia.

Here's a little bit from that summary, excerpts, emphasis mine:

1) Transparency Principles: How do we define transparency so that we can prioritize our policymaking?

  • Adopt
    8 Open Government Data Principles (complete, primary, timely,
    accessible, machine processable, non-discriminatory, non-proprietary,
  • Adopt Carter Center Plan of Action for the Advancement of the Right of Access to Information;
  • Crowdsourcing
    should be adopted as a principle and best practices around the use of
    crowdsourcing to evaluate data should be established;
  • Agencies should explain all policy decisions and the rationales behind them in readable language;

2) Transparency Governance:
How do we institutionalize transparency across all government agencies
and establish structures to ensure thoughtful and considered progress
toward transparency?
  • Replicate Florida's model of an Office of Open Government;
  • Establish
    a Transparency Officer/Open Government Officer and interdisciplinary
    team in each agency
    whose job it is to inventory and proactively make
    data available to the public. Transparency officer must not be an
    information technology expert only but someone knowledgeable about
    legal frameworks, such as Privacy and Information Quality;

3)      Information
Access: How do we improve the efficiency and effectiveness of access to
government information? How do we improve the Government’s ability to
disclose information pro-actively and bring down the cost and burden of
compliance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
  • Impose
    penalties on agencies not following FOIA or tolerating excessive
    Look at India’s approach, in which government officials become
    personally liable and must pay fines if they do not act in a timely

4) Data and Metadata: What technological approaches might be used to
improve access to Government data? What Government-wide approaches to
data and metadata should we be undertaking? How can we improve the
usefulness of, the Government’s new platform for access to

5) Open Government Operations: What
are the strategies for making the workings of government more open and
accountable? How do we balance openness and other constraints, like
privacy and efficiency? 
  • Publish
    a directory of who works in government. Agencies state there are legal
    issues and policies in place that prohibit them from posting their
    organization charts. Changing this might help increase transparency;

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