OMB Watch finds progress on open government, long road ahead

As Sunshine Week comes to a close in Washington, is hosting an event at the Center for American Progress on the Road forward for open government. Here’s the context for the event:

Two years ago President Obama committed his Administration “to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.” Toward this end, the Administration has issued policy changes: a new Memorandum on Freedom of Information Act and Attorney General Guidelines, a new Executive Order (EO) on Classified National Security Information, and a new EO on Controlled Unclassified Information. To help meet the goal of embedding openness in the government, the Administration also has taken steps to make information more available and usable by the public, including setting up andrequiring agencies to draw up plans to hard-wire openness into the way the government operates. Agencies have taken up the challenge, but more needs to be done.

Transparency experts from inside and outside of the federal government government are focusing upon how initiatives are being put into practice and what the next steps will be. You can watch the event live online at CAP or at

OMBWatch is presenting findings from a new report on assessing progress towards a 21st century right to know, embedded below:

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The first panel, with David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United StatesSteven P. Croley, Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy, White House Domestic Policy Council, and Gary Bass, Executive Director, OMB Watch, is focused upon the policy aspects of the Obama administration’s Open Government Initiative.

The second panel is focused upon the role technology plays in the way people get and use information, how the government is trying to fill that need, and the strengths and limitations of the Administration’s approach. Panelists include Jennifer LaFleur, Director of Computer-Assisted Reporting at ProPublica ; Tom Lee, Director of Sunlight Labs at the Sunlight Foundation; and Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director of the Center for Responsive Politics, and Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

5 thoughts on “OMB Watch finds progress on open government, long road ahead

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  5. Alex,

    I can’t figure out where the quoted part of your posting comes from. Would you please show the link?

    I’m interested because whoever is being quoted appears to echo the phrase that U.S. CTO Aneesh Chopra has been using for over a year, i.e., that he wants to “hard-wire” the culture-change towards openness in federal agencies.

    As a former bureaucrat at five federal agencies, the idea that the relatively fleeting presence of political appointees (even at the White House level) can “hard-wire” federal employees into involuntary actions is both terribly amusing … and sad.

    Will someone (his wife?) please explain the concept of “passive-aggressive” to him (and whoever else believes that culture-change in any organization can be “hard-wired”)?

    What is really needed is “Leadership’, i.e., show people how to act in the “new way”, and then make it SAFE for them to do the same. (Maybe ask GSA what was their #1 Idea voted for OpenGov, because they took down the link to

    Stephen Buckley


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