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Contact: Patrice McDermott or Amy Bennett, OpenTheGovernment.org, 202-332-6736
WASHINGTON, December 8, 2009 - OpenTheGovernment.org welcomes today's release of the long-awaited Open Government Directive and looks forward to working with the Obama Administration and other federal employees to create the unprecedented level of openness in Government promised by the President on his first day in office.
According to Patrice McDermott, Director of OpenTheGovernment.org, "the Open Government Directive, when fully implemented, will take the federal government many steps toward real openness. Far from representing the end of the process, today's announcement is the beginning of an on-going effort to build transparency and accountability into the way government operates."
OpenTheGovernment.org is particularly pleased that the Open Government Plan required of each agency must include information about compliance with records management requirements, address FOIA and backlogs, and inform the public about declassification programs. We recognize, however, that these are resource-intensive areas of policy and agency practice that will require ongoing attention and funding, and hope the White House will be forthcoming with those.
We are also pleased that an Open Government Dashboard will be created to allow the public to see how each agency is doing - and how the executive branch is progressing overall - toward greater openness, collaboration, and participation for accountable and responsive government.
While we are excited by many of the concrete requirements of the directive, we know that reports and open data are not necessarily equivalent to oversight and enforcement. We look forward to working with the White House and OMB to ensure the promise becomes a reality.