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President Obama issued a memorandum on Transparency and Open Government following his inauguration in early 2009. The memo outlined his commitment to greater transparency, increased citizen participation, and more collaboration. This commitment acknowledges that government cannot solve by itself the challenges facing our nation.
Progress to Date. The Administration solicited public comments on how it should act on the principles outlined in President Obama’s memo. Agencies piloted a number of different approaches during the course of the year. These approaches tested ways of providing useful “open data,” “open idea generation,” “open spending” via recovery.gov, and “open government resources,” such as the General Services Administration’s website supporting agencies’ Web 2.0 efforts.
OMB issued guidance in late 2009 that required agencies to develop Open Government plans and create Open Government websites to allow the public to monitor progress. Agencies were also directed to release “high-value” data sets and identify a “flagship initiative.” OMB also created the data.gov website where agencies can post their high-value data sets.
Key Challenges. The challenge is to systematically embed the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration into the federal bureaucracy. Following are key elements of this challenge:
Research Questions Based on Forum Discussions. Following are highlights of some of the research questions developed:
(Note: the background discussion paper for this topic was prepared by Joseph Goldman, AmericaSpeaks)