Making Open Government Count – 3 takes

Hey there. I’m Emily Jarvis– the DorobekINSIDER producer — and welcome GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER… where we focus on six words… helping you do your job better…

Chris Dorobek is out of the office today on vacation. But we couldn’t leave you hanging. So I’ve compiled some of my favorite interviews on open government.

On Today’s Show

  • Open government isn’t easy, but NASA has been one of the real leaders. We’ll hear about the NASA open government 2.0 plan — and how they are working to connect open government to the agency’s mission. Click here for the full interview.
  • The polarizing power of Open Government…the problem could lie in the ambiguity of the term open government. Click here for the full interview.
  • Let’s face facts…budget season stinks. And making those budgets transparent is an even bigger hassle. But there are some tips to make it easier. We’ll break them down with Michael Hall from Open Plans. Click here for the full interview.


NASA is taking a big leap forward in their quest for more openness. The space agency has just unveiled phase 2 of their open government plan — open government 2.0, if you will. The plan says open government is the responsibility of every person who works at NASA and that the agency takes seriously the principles of participation,collaboration and transparency in all that it does.

That being said, the space agency wants this new plan to be more of a model than a manual. The man behind the openness plan is Nick Skytland. Nick is the Program Manager of the Open Government at NASA. He why it’s important to not view openness through only one spectrum.

NASA’s new openness plan:

  • Encourages more citizen engagement with its directory of more than 100 activities that NASA offers
  • Allows comments on each page of the openness plan
  • Is a a living document so you can download a real time version of the openness plan on a daily basis


Take out your shades because its Sunshine week. The annual event is aimed at making the government more open and transparent. But what does it mean to be open and transparent?

The terms are a bit ambiguous…and we all know ambiguity can be polarizing…especially in politics.

So we set out to get some clarity on the subject.

Harlan Yu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University. He has written a new paper, “The New Ambiguity of ‘Open Government.” He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER show why everyone has a VERY different interpretation of what open government is.

Let’s face facts…budget season stinks and making those budgets transparent can be an even bigger hassle. But there are some tips to make it easier. Matthew Hall from Open Plans told Chris Dorobek what to be on the lookout for.

Hall Says:

  • Unify information in an easy to access site so that citizens do not have to hunt for every department’s’ budget data.
  • Release accurate information on contracts and grants so citizens can provide oversight.
  • Datasets should be primary source materials and include information on how it was collected.
  • Datasets should be released in a timely fashion and real time information should be provided whenever possible.
  • Data should be released in machine readable formats and available to download all at once or in “bulk,” as in all of the information in a database.

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