The DorobekINSIDER Reader: The open government policies and plans
When there are big events, I like to pull together resources in one place — and, of course, this has been open government week — the Office of Management and Budget issued a series of policies, while agencies issued their open government plans.
Before the plans were released, I posted DorobekINSIDER: Assessing transparency and open government.
The top level resources:
* The DorobekINSIDER reader from May 22, 2009 on the open government and transparency initiative — yes, this all is a work in progress
* White House Office of Science and Technology Policy blog post by Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform:
Open for Change, which he says will “strengthen our democracy and promote accountability, efficiency and effectiveness across the government.”
* GovLoop has a great chart of all the agency open government plans
Discussion about the policies and open government:
* Sunlight Foundation’s Ellen Miller: Idling in the driveway: “Sigh. I feel like a disappointed parent.”
* Sunlight’s Jake Brewer has told open government advocates:
Put simply, it’s increasingly clear government is not going to become more open and transparent without extraordinary public pressure. And WE are going to have to be the ones to put that pressure on them.
You can help right now by joining our campaign for open government and signing the pledge to demand all public government information be available ONLINE and in REAL-TIME.
* GovLoop has a fascinating discussion, “What Do You Think about OMB Soc Media and PRA Guidance?”
Much of that discussion has revolved around the Paperwork Reduction Act — and a strong frustration that it really hinders agencies flexibilities.
A sample of some of the discussion:
This is fairly far from awesome. I’d actually label it fairly disappointing. Not only are both documents written to be as vague as possible (the PRA primer, for instance, spends most of its text simply repeating statute), this doesn’t really get us where we need to be…
More disappointing from my standpoint, it keeps in place the notion that citizen interaction with the government is essentially a “burden” and still codifies the position that significant interaction with the public should be minimized (this is clearly contrary to open government).
The discussion has spurred me to actually print out the Paperwork Reduction Act and read it for myself to get a sense of what it actually says. My sense is that some of what OMB is trying to do is work within the constraints of the law — a law enacted in the early 1980s before hardly anybody even had e-mail addresses.
* More on the Paperwork Reduction Act and its role from OnDotGov.com: A Few Things on the New Paperwork Reduction Act Guidance
* GovLoop also has a discussion on the open government plan: Open Gov plans cheers and jeers
* GovTwit’s blog: Open Government Day brings new guidance from OMB
* InformationWeek: Government Social Media Restrictions Eased
The guidance makes it easier for agencies to use social media and requires steps to ensure better rule-making and spending transparency.
* TechPresident’s Nancy Scola: Use Social Media Freely, White House Tells Agencies [April 7, 2010]
* TechPresident’s Micah Sifry: Open Govt: Does the Govt Know What the Govt Knows? [April 7, 2010]: “Let’s remember that announcing a plan isn’t the same thing as getting the job done”
* Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy: Major Milestone Reached in Open Government Initiative: “We should recognize that the 120 day mark is really just a starting point, not an endpoint.”
Meanwhile, how would you grade the Obama administration’s open government initiative so far:
Previous DorobekINSIDER readers:
* The DorobekInsider transparency, openness and data.gov reader [May 22, 2009]
* The DorobekInsider reader: Obama cyber policy review [May 29, 2009]
* The DorobekInsider Reader: National Security Personnel System recommendations [August 31, 2009]
* The DorobekInsider Reader: Veterans Day [November 11, 2009]
* The DorobekInsider reader: Howard Schmidt as cybersecurity coordinator [December 23, 2009]
* The DorobekInsider Reader: Martin Luther King Jr. [January 18, 2010]