White House looks to public for ideas on open gov

The Obama administration is developing a second action plan on open government, and it’s asking citizens to help with the task.

The first National Action Plan on Open Government was released in September 2011 and laid out 26 steps to promote increased transparency, public participation in government and more efficient management of public resources.

To come up with the most creative and ambitious solutions, the administration looked to the public, said to U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer Nick Sinai.

“We are proud of this progress, but recognize that there is always more we can do to build a more efficient, effective and accountable government,” he wrote in a White House blog post Tuesday.

The administration reviewed the plan in March of this year, and found 24 of the 26 commitments had been fulfilled. Which is why with NAP 2.0, the administration will collaborate with the public to improve on the initial goals and work toward future initiatives as well.


Some of the highlights from those fulfilled commitments are the “We the People” petition platform, which has exceeded more than 10 million users; joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which ensures accountability for taxpayer dollars due for natural resource extraction; and releasing government data resources through the administration’s open data initiatives.

“Together, we will work to continue to empower public participation in policy dialogues, release information that spurs innovation and helps citizens hold government accountable, and make government more efficient and responsive,” wrote U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park and Chief Counselor for the Open Government Partnership Lisa Ellman in the March 2013 update. “This is, as the president has said, ‘the essence of democracy,’ and the cause that we recommit ourselves to today.”

The administration’s proposition asks citizens to weigh in on how to encourage public participation in government, how the government can better manage public resources and how the government can more effectively collaborate with the public to improve services.

To give input on the questions, send thoughts to by Sept. 23.

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