21st Century Government Latest News
- Posted byon April 26, 2013 at 2:00 PM EST
In September 2009, the President announced that—for the first time in history—White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today’s release includes visitor records generated during the month of January 2013. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to nearly 3.2 million—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.
Ed. note: For more information, check out Ethics.gov.
- Posted byon March 29, 2013 at 2:02 PM EST
“The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government.” -- President Barack Obama, November 7, 2012
Since the first day of the Obama Administration, the Federal government has worked to make government more efficient, effective, and responsive to citizens’ needs. The Administration has harnessed new technology to engage the public, worked to disclose information more quickly, and given citizens a greater voice in decision-making.
In September 2011, the Administration’s work was launched on the world stage when President Obama and other world leaders endorsed the principles of the global Open Government Partnership (OGP). As part of our commitment to OGP, the United States launched the National Action Plan, a set of twenty-six concrete commitments that help increase public integrity, promote public participation, manage public resources more effectively, and improve public services. Praised by civil society organizations and the public, the Plan stands as a great example of what we can do as a country when government, civil society, and the public collaborate together. As the President has said, “Put simply, our countries are stronger when we engage citizens beyond the halls of government.”
Today, we are proud to report that the United States has fulfilled twenty-four of those commitments. You can read more about the implementation of our National Action Plan here. Some highlights include:
- Posted byon March 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM EST
In September 2009, the President announced that—for the first time in history—White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in December 2012. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 3.1 million—all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.
Ed. note: For more information, check out Ethics.gov.
- Posted byon March 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM EST
Ed. Note: This post is part of a Sunshine Week series on whitehouse.gov. Sunshine Week is a national initiative to celebrate and focus on government transparency and open government.
During Sunshine Week, we celebrate the ways government can improve public use of government information. Much of the discussion this week has been on steps the Administration has taken to liberate government-owned data, but we recently took an equally important step to increase public access to the results of research funded by the Federal Government. Last month, John Holdren, President Obama’s science and technology advisor and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, issued a memo to the heads of Federal agencies with research and development budgets over $100 million requiring them to draft plans to dramatically increase public access to the results of the research they support. The memo focused on two key products of funded research: peer-reviewed scholarly publications and scientific data.
The rationale for the policy was made plain in a Web posting by Dr. Holdren in response to a We the People petition that called for the government to develop such a policy—a petition, incidentally, that garnered more than 65,000 signatures!
“We know that scientific research supported by the Federal Government spurs scientific breakthroughs and economic advances when research results are made available to innovators,” Dr. Holdren wrote. “Policies that mobilize these intellectual assets for re-use through broader access can accelerate scientific breakthroughs, increase innovation, and promote economic growth… Americans should have easy access to the results of research they help support.”
- Posted byon March 14, 2013 at 2:20 PM EST
Ed. Note: This post is part of a Sunshine Week series on WhiteHouse.gov. Sunshine Week is a national initiative to celebrate and focus on government transparency and open government.
Sunshine Week is about the importance of transparency, and the public’s right to know what its government is doing. That philosophy has been at the core of the Obama Administration from Day One, and over the last four years we’ve let a lot of sunshine in—including in some domains that are not widely known to the general public but are nonetheless important and deserving of illumination.
In one representative example, the U.S. Government in September 2011 committed to implement the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)—a voluntary, global effort designed to increase transparency, strengthen the accountability of natural resource revenues, and build public trust for the governance of these vital activities. Sunshine Week is a good time to reflect on the notable steps the Administration has taken in the last year-and-a-half to fulfill its commitment to implement EITI, which was launched as part of the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan.
In the true spirit of EITI and the Open Government Partnership, we endeavored from the start to undertake this effort in a collaborative and inclusive fashion, engaging government, the private sector, civil society, and the public. We began with a comprehensive stakeholder assessment, which involved two public comment periods, a webinar, a public workshop, and public listening sessions in Anchorage, Denver, Houston, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. We conducted tribal consultations at meetings of the National Congress of American Indians, the Alaska Federation of Natives, and tribal advisory committees, and we met with individual tribes engaged in resource extraction. We also consulted with and learned from our counterparts in other countries who have already implemented EITI, to garner best practices.
- Posted byon March 14, 2013 at 12:19 PM EST
A mother survives domestic abuse, but realizes she needs a civil protection order, as well as custody of her child, but she may not be able to afford legal representation.
Five years ago, a group of lawyers came together to support clients like her. They founded the DC Volunteers Lawyer Project (DCVLP) to recruit, train, and support attorneys to provide pro-bono services in three areas: (1) domestic violence, including with divorce, custody, child support, and immigration matters, (2) high-conflict child custody cases, and (3) assisting foster parents.
The DCVLP now has more than 700 volunteer lawyers who provide pro-bono services.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting the DCVLP. I met with the remarkable founders and staff, listened to the story of a former client serving on the board, and heard about all the great work they are doing every single day here in Washington, DC.