Today, U.S. departments and agencies are releasing their Open Government Plans -- another historic milestone in President Obama's campaign to change Washington.
For too many years, Washington has resisted the oversight of the American public, resulting in difficulties in finding information, taxpayer dollars disappearing without a trace, and lobbyists wielding undue influence. For Americans, business as usual in Washington has reinforced the belief that the government benefits the special interests and the well-connected at the expense of the American people.
No more. Since coming to office, the President has launched a series of initiatives to let the sunshine in, including posting White House visitor records, disclosing lobbyist contacts regarding stimulus funds, and launching data.gov and recovery.gov. That's why independent groups recently gave the Administration an A grade for transparency.
Today we add to that body of accomplishments as the departments and agencies issue Open Government Plans pursuant to the Open Government Directive. The Plans will make operations and data more transparent, and expand opportunities for citizen participation, collaboration, and oversight. These steps will strengthen our democracy and promote accountability, efficiency and effectiveness across the government. Here are a few highlights:
These are just a few examples -- visit our Open Government Dashboard for links to others. Publishing these plans demonstrates once again this Administration's commitment to be the most open and transparent in history. Of course, much work remains to be done and we invite you to be a part of that by visiting the agency websites at name of agency/open and providing your comments on version 1.0 of the plans. That will help us and the agencies make the plans even better.
Norm Eisen is Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform