Open Government Initiative Blog

  • NASA’s Open Government Plan Features the International Space Apps Challenge

    This week, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released version 2.0 of our Open Government Plan.  We used this milestone to sharpen our focus on initiatives such as creating a new web architecture, employing wider use of Open Source technologies, and increasing opportunities for engaging citizens in NASA’s mission.  We also developed an online version of our plan that features a directory of more than 100 participatory, collaborative and transparency activities. 

  • Celebrating the Release of Open Government Plans 2.0

    We’ve come a long way since the President signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government on his first full day in office.  One highlight of the Open Government Initiative has been the release of agency Open Government Plans.  These plans have served as roadmaps for agencies working to expand opportunities for citizen participation, make data more available and transparent, and increase collaborative decision-making.

    As the President has emphasized, open government promotes a range of important goals. The first goal is to increase accountability. As Justice Louis Brandeis stated, “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” As government becomes more open, both private and public institutions are more likely to be held accountable. The second goal is to provide people with information that they can readily find and use in their daily lives. Important information is being disclosed to the American public in areas that involve product recalls, infant car seats, automobile safety, health care, energy, nutrition, air pollution, obesity, crime, and much more.

  • Pioneering Innovation Through Health Data Transparency

    As advocates across the country celebrate Sunshine Week, a time to focus on government transparency, the Department of Health and Human Services is proud of its work in spearheading greater data transparency.  Signature among our work in this area is the Health Data Initiative (HDI).  Founded in early 2010, the HDI is a three-pronged effort to publish brand new HHS data for public access; use tools to that make existing HHS data much more accessible; and energetically market and promote our data to innovators who can creatively use it as raw material to develop applications and services to improve health. Based on the principles of improved access to data from all sectors of health and healthcare, collaboration by a wide array of organizations, and participation by many individuals, HDI is a powerful emerging catalyst for change.  Remarkable insights are being gained into some of our most vexing challenges in health care, and new windows of opportunity are opening for an incredible array of data-fueled innovations that embody American ingenuity.

  • Effective Aid Is Transparent and Accountable Aid

    For over five decades, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has saved lives and improved human welfare around the world. As a leader in global development, our Agency has amassed a wealth of knowledge that we believe is important to share publicly. By making our data, programs and evaluations easily accessible, we’re helping to create a global commons that grounds development practice in evidence and shares knowledge to inform significantly new approaches in development.

    President Obama, Secretary Clinton and I take transparency and accountability in foreign aid seriously, and we’re working hard to ensure that we effectively communicate our efforts to the American people, our stakeholders and our partners at home and abroad.

    As we celebrate Sunshine Week, here are just a few examples of USAID’s commitment to implementing the principles of transparency, participation and collaboration that were outlined in the Administration’s Open Government Initiative.

  • Managing Government Records: The Backbone of Open Government

    As part of Sunshine Week, I want to take the opportunity to update you on one of the commitments made by the President as part of our Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.  On November 28, 2011, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum entitled “Managing Government Records” to begin an Executive Branch-wide effort to reform records management policies and practices.  This is the first time since the Truman Administration that this level of White House attention has been focused on the records of our country, and I am taking it very seriously.

  • Let the Sunshine In

    This week is Sunshine Week, a joint project of the American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.  Held in mid-March, Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote discussion about the importance of open government and freedom of information.

    The theme of this year’s Sunshine Week is “Put Sunshine in Your Government,” and so now is an appropriate time to reflect on the Obama Administration’s strong commitment to open government over the past three years, and more particularly to provide an update on implementation of the U.S. National Action Plan on Open Government

    President Obama unveiled the National Plan in September 2011, as part of the United States’ commitment as a founding member of the Open Government Partnership – a global effort to promote more transparent, effective, and accountable governance in countries around the world.