Recommitting Ourselves to Making Government More Effective

Last week, President Obama stood with other heads of state to endorse the principles of the Open Government Partnership and launch the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan

We are proud of the work done so far to make our government more efficient and effective, and to illustrate the breadth of work done so far, many agencies posted blogs on their achievements of the last two and a half years.  In particular, the Department of Transportation, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of the Treasury, Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture, and General Services Administration are recommitting themselves to the principles of open government. 

More still, agencies are doubling down and announcing new and innovative initiatives in addition to the commitments that are already in their Open Government Plans.  For example, the Department of Justice plans to convene an Interagency Technology Working Group to focus on expanding the use of technology in the core elements of FOIA administration.   And, the Department of Housing and Urban Development will establish an Innovation Lab that will benefit HUD through the incubation of novel and unique ideas that improve interactions with customers, increase mission efficiency and efficacy, and reduce duplication of effort. 

Agencies continue to play a lead role in making our government more open.  One initiative in our Plan commits to working to modernize the management of government records.  To that end, the Archivist of the United States David Ferriero will convene a meeting of international archivists to discuss the role they play in a more open government.  And, NASA will launch the International Space Apps Challenge to help improve public services and promote innovation through collaboration.

The Plan that we unveiled last week, and the initiatives that agencies are continuing to implement, are part of a larger effort to fulfill the President’s commitment to make our government more “open and competent.”  In some ways, the hard work is just beginning, but we look forward to the work ahead.

Chris Vein is the US Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Government Innovation

Remington Gregg is Advisor for Open Government

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