Fulfilling our Commitment to Open Government

Since taking office, President Obama has made clear that his Administration is committed to Open Government—that the Nation is made stronger by making the Federal Government accountable to citizens and by giving those citizens opportunities to participate in their government. 

That’s why, in September 2011, President Obama, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, and the leaders of six other governments launched the global Open Government Partnership – a global effort to encourage transparent, effective, and accountable governance driven by citizens and civil society around the world.  Demonstrating the Nation’s domestic commitment to the Partnership, President Obama launched the U.S. National Action Plan on Open Government that same day, saying:

“We pledge to be more transparent at every level -- because more information on government activity should be open, timely, and freely available to the people. We pledge to engage more of our citizens in decision-making -- because it makes government more effective and responsive. We pledge to implement the highest standards of integrity -- because those in power must serve the people, not themselves. And we pledge to increase access to technology -- because in this digital century, access to information is a right that is universal.”

In just over a year, the Administration has made significant progress toward implementing the National Action Plan, working closely and in partnership with American citizens and organizations. 

For example, with the launch of the White House's "We the People" petition platform, citizens now have a more powerful voice in government. With the passage of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, and President Obama’s landmark directive extending whistleblower protections to the intelligence and national security communities for the first time, Federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government will receive the protection they deserve.  And, through innovative, accessible platforms like data.gov, the government is unleashing more information than ever before to fuel innovation and entrepreneurship. But we’re not stopping there.

As part of our ongoing commitment to Open Government, the United States Government will publish a Self-Assessment Report this spring, that outlines our significant progress to date and highlights areas where there is more work to be done.  And, in the true spirit of Open Government—we want you to participate in the process.

Many of the best ideas that helped shape the National Action Plan on Open Government were suggested from citizens and outside groups. Starting today, for the next two weeks, we want to hear from you, as we work to develop our Open Government self-assessment report. 

Here’s how: You can share your ideas and feedback through Q&A site Quora, or through a web form on WhiteHouse.gov. Specifically, we’d like to hear from you about:

  • What Open Government commitments need the most additional work in the near term?
  • How can we be more responsive to your feedback?
  • How can we work more closely with the public to enhance the Government’s effectiveness?

Your feedback will inform our upcoming Self-Assessment Report on Open Government and ensure that your voice is heard as we continue working together toward increased openness and transparency. We look forward to hearing from you.

Lisa Ellman is Chief Counselor for the Open Government Partnership and Senior Advisor to the Chief Technology Officer and Nick Sinai is Deputy Chief Technology Officer.

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