On Friday, NextGov reports that the White House released a status report on the Open Government Initiative. The White House blog post on Friday reiterates President Obama's commitment to open government. The post, written by special assistant and senior counsel to the President states:
President Obama has made open government a high priority. Greater openness renders our government more efficient and effective. It strengthens our democracy. It improves our citizens’ lives.
To these ends, the Administration has taken many substantial steps to promote increased participation and collaboration in government, and to make government more transparent. For example, federal agencies have increased transparency through redoubled efforts to disclose more information under the Freedom of Information Act. They have implemented ambitious Open Government Plans, and made voluminous data newly available to the public. The Administration has also made spending information more transparent, and taken steps to disclose previously sensitive government information.
Certainly great strides have been made under the administration. Take a look at the full report below, it's worth taking a look at seeing all the great initiatives and programs that have been created or moved forward from the initiative. NextGov's Tom Shoop highlights some of the acheivements:
- On his first day in office, President Obama issued an order instructing agencies to release more information under the Freedom of Information Act. In fiscal 2010, agencies made full disclosures for nearly 56 percent of FOIA requests, a 6 percent increase over the previous year.
- By the end of 2010, agencies had developed comprehensive open government plans, as required by a 2009 administration directive.
- Agencies have made more than 389,000 data sets available via the Data.gov platform.
- The administration has boosted spending transparency through reporting efforts on Recovery.gov, USASpending.gov and IT.usaspending.gov.
- The National Archives and Records Admnistration has taken steps to implement Executive Order 13526, which requires stricter standards for classifying information. Agencies reduced personnel authorized to classify documents by 7 percent in 2010.
- The White House has made the president's and vice president's daily schedules available on its website.
Are there challenges to keep moving forward, of course, but lots of great achievements since Obama came into office. The document released by the White House focuses primarily on progress in Open Gov.
What else needs to be done in terms of Open Government? What can we do better and what needs to be improved?