A 100 Day Agenda for Open Government?

In February our Executive Director took to the pages of The Hill to challenge President Obama to recommit to creating an "unprecedented level of openness in Government" during his second term. She outlined a 100-day agenda to put the US on the path to accomplishing this goal. With more than half of the 100 days gone, we thought it would be an appropriate time to look at what the government has made progress on, and what issues remain to be tackled.

The effort to open up participation in the Open Government Partnership is off to a good start: the White House released a self-assessment of its implementation of the first US National Action Plan that reviewed what was accomplished, and acknowledged that there was more work to do to meet the larger goals; there is also an effort underway to gather feedback and ideas for the next version of the Plan via Quora.

On honoring whistleblowers, the White House did finally release the text of PPD 19, the Presidential Policy Directive intended to protect whistleblowers with access to classified information after an outcry from civil society organizations that keeping the document secret would undermine the policy's purpose. However, it remains to be seen how well the policies will be implemented, and the Administration must forcefully reject any initiatives that would jeapordize protections for employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud, abuse, or illegality.

It is not to late for the Administration to tackle this agenda. Frankly, creating the lasting legacy of open government the President set out to achieve on his first day in office requires nothing less.

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