Spurring International Momentum for Open Government

Today, the United States and Brazil announced the creation of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) – a global initiative that supports efforts to promote more transparent, effective, and accountable institutions globally.  In the spirit of multi-stakeholder collaboration, this initiative is governed by a steering committee that includes governments and civil society groups from around the world. 

This effort builds directly on steps President Obama has taken since the first day of his Administration to strengthen democracy and promote a more efficient and effective government through greater openness. 

Since the release of the President’s Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, Federal agencies have done much to make information about how government works more accessible to the public, to solicit citizens’ participation in government decision-making, and to collaborate with all sectors of the economy on new and innovative solutions.  We have launched websites such as Recovery.gov, ITDashboard.gov, and USAspending.gov to ensure the effective use of taxpayer dollars; released useful data through the centralized portal, data.gov; and opened new opportunities for the public to engage in solving our most pressing problems through Challenge.gov and online communities focused on health, energy, and the law.

The Open Government Partnership seeks to galvanize international momentum on issues of open government.  President Obama spoke about the importance of open government at the UN General Assembly in 2010, and challenged leaders to return with specific commitments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.  This is a new vehicle for supporting governments as they take these important steps.

Our action plan for the Open Government Partnership will continue and build upon the Open Government efforts first launched by the President’s Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, and we look forward to your input and ideas as we develop our action plan going forward.

Aneesh Chopra is the U.S. Chief Technology Officer

Cass Sunstein is Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

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