What new ways of gathering and presenting information are evolving from this nexus of government openness and digital connectedness?
Open Government Directive Agency Datasets
An underlying goal of the Open Government Initiative is to change the culture of information dissemination, institutionalizing a preference for making Federal data more widely available in more accessible formats. As one of the flagships of the Open Government Initiative, Data.gov is designed to facilitate access to Federal datasets that increase public understanding of Federal agencies and their operations, advance the missions of Federal agencies, create economic opportunity, and increase transparency, accountability, and responsiveness across the Federal Government – i.e., “high value” datasets. The Open Government Directive specifically required agencies to register at least three new high-value datasets on Data.gov by January 22. While many of the datasets submitted to Data.gov both before and after the January 22 deadline are high-value, agencies have reported those datasets denoted by asterisks in the tables below as new “high value” datasets in accordance with Open Government Directive provisions.
Linda Fantin and Ellen Miller, with moderator Chris Csikszentmihalyi
In December, the Obama administration directed (Open Government Directive) federal agencies and departments to implement “principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration,” including deadlines for providing government information online. At the same time, citizens and journalists are developing new technologies to manage and analyze the exponential increase in data about our civic lives available from governmental and other sources.
Our speakers Linda Fantin, director of public insight journalism at Minnesota Public Radio and Ellen Miller, executive director of the Washington-based Sunlight Foundation, will explore this and related questions. Chris Csikszentmihalyi, director of MIT’s Center for Future Civic Media, moderates the discussion.
Source: MIT Tech TV
Transparency and Open Government
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government
My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.
Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.
Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.
Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperateamong themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector. Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation.
I direct the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Administrator of General Services, to coordinate the development by appropriate executive departments and agencies, within 120 days, of recommendations for an Open Government Directive, to be issued by the Director of OMB, that instructs executive departments and agencies to take specific actions implementing the principles set forth in this memorandum. The independent agencies should comply with the Open Government Directive.
This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
This memorandum shall be published in the Federal Register.
Source: White House