White House Releases Open Government Directive

Following through on the goals outlined in President Obama’s January 21, 2009 Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, the Office of Management and Budget yesterday released the much-anticipated Open Government Directive (OGD) which outlines requirements for agencies to develop and implement an Open Government Plan.

Among its many requirements, the OGD directs each agency to:

  • Identify and publish online in an open format at least three high-value data sets within 45 days.
  • Reduce Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) backlogs by ten percent each year.
  • Provide links to information on how the agency is meeting its records management requirements.
  • Publish for public comment its Open Government Plan explaining how the agency will improve transparency, participation and collaboration. The plan will be updated every two years.

The directive makes clear that the presumption of openness does not require the release of information that would “threaten national security, invade personal privacy, breach confidentiality, or damage other compelling interests.”

The directive follows months of public dialogue on open government organized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. We are very pleased that the directive reflects many of the transparency recommendations in the 2008 report, Moving Toward a 21st Century Right-to-Know Agenda, which AALL, nine of our chapters, and more than 75 law librarians endorsed.

We applaud the Administration for taking these important steps to implement the open government principles outlined in the President’s Memorandum. We are especially pleased that agencies are tasked with measurable outcomes and deadlines for compliance. We will keep you updated on their performance during the coming months.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

One Response to White House Releases Open Government Directive

  1. […] government plans per President Obama’s Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government and the Open Government Directive. As part of the process, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking input and new ideas from […]

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