Today in London, more than 1,000 delegates from across the globe are gathering for the Open Government Partnership Annual Summit to celebrate an unprecedented international collaboration between government and civil society to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, harness new technologies, and transform the way governments serve and engage with their citizens.
Launched in September 2011 by President Obama and seven other country leaders, the Open Government Partnership was founded on the principle that the strength and vibrancy of nations depend on an active civil society and robust engagement between governments and their citizens to advance shared goals of peace, prosperity, and the well-being of all people. In just over two years the OGP has made incredible progress – expanding to more than 60 countries that have made more than 1000 commitments to make governments around the globe more open, accountable, and transparent to their citizens.
Building on these efforts to create more efficient, effective, and accountable governments, the Obama Administration today issued a new report, outlining ambitious new open-government commitments, including modernizing and improving the administration of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which provides the public with access to government information, and expanding the President’s open data initiatives across the Federal Government to fuel entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic growth. These commitments, and many others, will be part of a second U.S. Open Government National Action Plan to be released later this year.
As we work with stakeholders to complete our second National Action Plan, we will continue to take steps to further support a vibrant civil society – both in the United States and around the world. Over the next year, the Administration will continue to intensify and broaden engagement with civil society, as well as work together with the international community to roll back and prevent new restrictions on those who seek to have a voice in their societies, and identify and share best practices and innovative approaches to help civil society succeed.
For more information on the second U.S. Open Government National Action Plan, see a fact sheet on the report.
Gayle Smith is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy. Nick Sinai is United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer