An early backer of the Open Government concept, Molly O’Neill, former EPA CIO and current CGI Vice President, has been reviewing federal agencies’ open government plans which are due to be released today per President Obama’s Dec. 8 Open Government Directive. The directive called for plans to describe how agencies will improve transparency and integrate public participation and collaboration into their activities.
“I am encouraged by the early plans I’ve seen and by agencies’ obvious dedication to making open government a reality,” O’Neill said. “But the initiative is still in its infancy. To make real change occur via open government, it must be folded into existing government processes.”
O’Neill cautions that although incorporating transparency, public engagement and collaboration requires new thinking and leadership, open government shouldn’t require a years-long culture change in federal agencies.
“Today, to meet the President’s mandate, agencies have had to go back and decide what data they could make available for publishing,” O’Neill said. “For open government to succeed, agencies need to change their enterprise architectures and/or system design and planning processes to include data sharing as an organic goal so new systems produce sharable data as a matter of course.”