Today the Administration delivered a new round of commitments to the Open Government Partnership that show they are listening to domestic civil society organizations and to the concerns of the broader international community.
According to Patrice McDermott, Executive Director of OpenTheGovernment.org, "The United States helped found the Open Government Partnership to challenge other countries to make concrete commitments to make themselves more transparent and accountable to the people. This plan shows that the US is also serious about challenging itself."
While not all of the commitments are as revolutionary as people on the outside of government might hope, the new plan is focused, ambitious and achievable. The plan is especially notable for directly addressing the on-going controversy over the government's surveillance programs.
Dr. McDermott said, "While we have been critical of some of this Administration's decisions, particularly its continued insistence on walling off all information related to national security, this plan begins to break down that wall and advance open government."
In the coming days we will be working with our partners and allies to provide in-depth analysis of each of the commitments and develop recommendations for how the government should meet its promises. These commitments will not execute themselves, and they alone are not enough to meet our– or the government's– broader goals. We will continue to work with the Administration to make sure that the plan is executed well, and that the work of developing a more open and accountable government does not stop.
Additional Responses and Analysis
Center for Effective Government: Obama Administration Tackles Important Open Government Issues in Broad, Ambitious Plan
Sunlight Foundation: How to Read the US National Action Plan
FreedomInfo.org: FOIA Reform Featured in New US OGP Action Plan
E Pluribus Unum: United States Releases Second Open Government National Action Plan
Secrecy News: White House Sets New Goals for Open Government