Kundra and Chopra Assess Open Government Plans

Federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra say that the Open Government initiative is heading in the right direction, but that much more work is left to assure an implementation that works for all agencies.

The pair highlighted three points in a blog post on whitehouse.gov:

“Finding #1: All on Board.  All Cabinet departments and major agencies have submitted plans that make significant strides towards open government as called for in the Directive. Better still, many other agencies – not specifically bound by the Directive – have completed deliverables to demonstrate their commitment as well.  All agencies recognize the value of breaking down long-standing barriers between the American people and their government.

Finding #2: More Still to Do. Only three of the cabinet and other key agencies won a green flag for across-the-board excellence. All the others – including our own offices of OSTP and OMB – have more work to do before the Plan fully satisfies every requirement in the Directive. With your feedback, we are keen to improve upon these living documents to fulfill the letter and the spirit of the Directive.

Finding #3: Open Government Practices Worthy of Review.  Three agencies both achieved the requirements and took ambitious steps that might serve as models for the rest of government – the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation, and NASA. HHS developed a concrete plan to which it can be held accountable for identifying and publishing high value data sets with an impressive roster of commitments this year; Transportation engaged over 200 staff members in crafting the plan from nearly every service area to instill an open government culture wide and deep within the agency;  and NASA is inviting volunteer software developers to collaborate in the development of NASA technologies, both to advance the agency’s mission and to spur commercialization leading to economic growth.”

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