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Transparency Governance

The Administration is committed to creating a more open government. This cannot be done by any one office or policy pronouncement but must be a systemic and far-reaching effort. Every agency must be committed to more transparency, greater civic engagement and collaborative problem-solving in principle and practice.
Today, we ask for your help identifying the governance strategies and systems needed to drive and sustain an unprecedented level of openness in government. Ideally, we will complement institutional structures with incentives and technological mechanisms to encourage agencies to set and achieve transparency goals and to do so nimbly, flexibly, and efficiently.
Through the Open Government Brainstorm and your submissions to From the Inbox, you've already shared a number of initial ideas. For example, one participant suggested the establishment of an open government official in every agency. Another suggested an interdisciplinary team, knowledgeable about law, policy, and technology, in each agency whose job it will be to inventory and proactively make data available to the public. Now tell us your detailed suggestions:
  • Are agency and/or Government-wide positions necessary to achieve transparency? If so, what do these roles look like? What skills might they require? Are these new positions or new tasks for existing employees? How do we control costs while still creating transparency governance?
  • How should such officials collaborate and learn from one another without creating unnecessary committees? Or is a committee necessary?
  • What incentives can be adopted as an alternative to creating positions and institutions? Are there strategies for progressing toward transparency that do not involve more bureaucracy? What about an award scheme?
  • What other models exist in other countries? In states? In towns? In corporations? for bringing innovation to an institution?
  • How can we use technology, such as dashboards or other visual displays, to encourage progress toward transparency?
  • How can the private sector play a role in ensuring government accountability for openness and transparency?
To share your thoughts, go to the Office of Science & Technology Policy's blog.  Thank you in advance.

Beth Noveck is Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Open Government.