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12 Days of Open Government Resolutions - Day 1: Public Input on V2 of National Action Plan

Conventional wisdom may hold that resolutions are made to be broken. Here at OpenTheGovernment.org, though, we believe that there is an art to making resolutions that stick: be bold, but also decide to do something that you can reasonably accomplish in a year. From now through December 25, we'll be proposing one resolution per day that the Obama Administration can use to make the federal government more open and accountable in the coming year.

Open Government Resolution 1 for the Obama Administration - Begin gathering public input for Version 2 of the US National Action Plan

On September 20, 2011 the US helped launch the Open Government Partnership (OGP), an international effort to make governments more transparent and collaborative. Nations that join the Partnership must, among other things, collaborate with civil society organizations to develop a National Action Plan with concrete commitments.

As part of the launch, the US delivered the first version of its National Action Plan. While OpenTheGovernment.org, and others in the community, applauded the broad range of commitments included in the first version, there were concerns about the lack of broad outreach to the public while the plan was under development-- especially as collaboration is intended to be one of the key principles of the OGP. At the time, the Administration said that the relatively short time-frame they had to produce the plan was one reason there was not a more concerted effort to get more public participation.

For the second version of the plan, the Administration will have much more time. The first version of the plan should be fully implemented by the end of 2012 (look for our evaluation of the Administration's efforts in January) and we do not anticipate a new version being released before the next general meeting of the OGP in Fall 2013. The Administration should use this time to make sure it listens to and understands what the public wants in the next National Action Plan. It should also make all of the ideas and recommendations publicly available.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see our next proposed resolution!

The Classified Section

Check out our new blog, The Classified Section, for analysis of national security secrecy.

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