Key Areas to Consider in Open Government Strategy and Planning

The release of the Open Government Directive on December 8, 2009 has prompted many Agencies to wrestle with what a comprehensive Open Government Plan for their Agency would look like. According to the Directive, Open Government Plans are due for each Agency in 120 days. (The Sunlight foundation provides a good high level summary of other requirements here.) The Directive then lays out about 22 detailed requirements for that plan, but gives little guidance to Agencies about how they should meet those requirements. Like a typical and appropriate policy, the Directive details the “what” but not the “how”. Thus, Agencies need to plan how they’ll be more transparent, participatory and collaborative in key areas, but they are on their own in figuring out how to do that.

The Department of Transportation, recognizing that this requirement would inevitably be coming, started thinking about the “how” months ago. Through this preparation work, they developed, in partnership with Phase One Consulting Group, an Open Government methodology that captures all the key areas that Agencies should be concerned with when doing comprehensive open government planning. This methodology was introduced in a blog posting last month and at the first Open Government Directive Workshop series.

This blog series will devote individual blog postings to each of the “pie pieces” or key areas of Open Government planning. In each of the blog postings we will describe what each of the pie pieces mean, why they are critical to include in Open Government planning, and how they are tied to the requirements of the Open Government Directive.

Legal: Posted 12/16/2009
Strategic Planning: Posted 12/18/2009
Performance: Posted 12/21/2009
Internal Directives: Posted 12/23/2009
Security: Posted 12/28/2009
Infrastructure: Posted 12/30/2009
Tools: Posted 1/5/2010
Pilots/ Existing Programs: Posted 1/6/2010
Participatory Activities: Posted 1/11/2010
Agency Stakeholders 1/14/2010
Communication Channels 1/15/2010
Employee Readiness 1/19/2010

Originally posted on the Phase One Transformation in the Federal Sector blog.

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Jenn Gustetic

Hey guys–

Just posted the legal piece. Some key legislation highlighted in the post is:
Government Soliciting Feedback from Citizens: Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) 5 USC Section 3, Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)
Records Management: National Archives and Records Administration Act of 1984/ Federal Records Act
Security: Agency Statute, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, etc…
Content Liability, which includes defamation, harassment, copyright, trademark, and negligent misstatement/ fraud: Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996
Terms of Service: Anti-Deficiency Act
Privacy: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), E-Government Act of 2002, Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and Privacy Act
Accessibility: Americans with Disabilities Act/ Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Rulemaking: Administrative Procedure Act (APA) of 1946
Acquisition: Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)

Click the link in the body of the blog post for more details on this key area.


Jenn Gustetic

Thanks for your great point JP. I agree that creating a parallel timeline for evaluating the legal environment will not enable the most effective open gov plans to be created in this round. In the next round (2 years from now when the plan must be updated), agencies will hopefully be able to realize some of the benefits of those OMB changes in their planning.

I’ve also linked up the postings for strategic planning and performance as key areas to consider when developing an open gov plan.



Jenn Gustetic

The Internal Directives (aka Policy) and Security posts have been added. IT infrastructure is coming later this week. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Jenn Gustetic

I added links for Infrastructure, Tools, and Pilots, which finishes up the technology pieces to consider. The participatory activities posting kicks off the culture aspects to consider. Enjoy!