Cabinet Departments Commit to Open Government

In response to the White House’s new Open Government Directive, each of the Cabinet Departments released a commitment outlining specific actions it has taken or will take in the near future to increase access to their information. For example:

  • The Department of Justice became the first agency to release its Annual Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Report in a machine-readable format. The Department also released 19 annual FOIA reports from other agencies. In addition, the Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) is now routinely releasing opinions from current and previous administrations on the OLC Web site.
  • The United States Patent and Trademark Office committed to making all published patents available for download in the first quarter of 2010.
  • The General Services Administration released 12 years of Committee data, enabling the public to examine 11,430 individual committee records detailing $3.24 billion in related spending for 77,740 meetings and 11,317 reports.

Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, and Beth Noveck, Deputy Chief Technology Officer and Director of the White House Open Government Initiative, summarize these open government projects in the recent White House blog post, “Why an Open Government Matters.” Additional examples of recent transparency initiatives are available in the White House’s Progress Report on Open Government to the American People.

We are very pleased with these new open government projects and look forward to reviewing future open government initiatives from other agencies.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]

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