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Definition

Open Government Directive

The Open Government Directive is an initiative by the United States government to publish more information online. The goal is to encourage federal agencies to make data that's available under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) easier to access.

To comply with the directive, each government agency was required to publish a dedicated /Open page on its Web site. The /Open page discloses the agency's efforts in regards to the initiative, provides access to the agency's complete Open Government plan and invites the visitor to give the agency feedback. Agencies were also required to post at least three new data sets of high value information, let the public know what information is available and establish a timeline for publishing more high value data.

Open Government Web Pages

* Department of Agriculture

* Department of Commerce

* Department of Defense

* Department of Education

* Department of Energy

* Department of Health and Human Services

* Department of Homeland Security

* Department of Agriculture

* Department of Commerce

* Department of Defense

* Department of Education

* Department of Energy

* Department of Health and Human Services

* Department of Homeland Security

 

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the Open Government Directive and its instructions in 2009 by order of President Barack Obama. According to the official memorandum issued by the Office of Management and Budget, the President's goal of transparency will promote accountability by providing the public with information about what the government is doing. Participation will allow members of the public to contribute ideas and expertise so that government can make informed decisions and collaboration will improve the effectiveness of government by encouraging partnerships and cooperation within the government and between the government and private institutions. To provide a cohesive view of compliance to the directive, the Federal Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) created an Open Government Dashboard. The dashboard allows the public to track agency progress towards the specific deliverables set out in the directive.

Learn more:

The White House maintains a Web site for Open Government.

This OMB memorandum outlines how agencies and executive offices should carry out the directive.

United States CIO Vivek Kundra discusses how the president's Transparency and Open Government directive is being implemented.

The Sunlight Foundation has more information on the Open Government Directive.

This was last updated in May 2010

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