When Agencies Get It Right: Highlighting Best Openness Practices

OpenTheGovernment.org and our coalition partners spend a great deal of time highlighting what the government can do better to further openness and enhance accountability. But even as we often make note of the negative, we frequently see agencies that are doing it right, serving as examples of innovation, openness, and transparency for their fellow agencies and colleagues.

Those examples can be more than just bright spots in government. They can be learning tools. Our partner, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) noted this potential and reached out to the openness community to gather them in one place to make them useful for the government and the public. The practices presented do not necessarily represent all the reforms sought by the openness community, but rather illustrate noteworthy movement towards openness. POGO developed “key criteria for successful practices,” show what agencies should strive for.  The best practices and criteria are targeted to the following topical areas crucial to openness practices:

1.      Proactive Release of Agency Information

2.      Proactive Release of Consumer Information

3.      Engaging the Public in Policy Making

4.      Shining a Light on How Tax Dollars

5.      Bringing FOIA into the 21st Century

6.      Moving Toward a Culture of Openness

7.      Prioritizing Openness and Accountability

8.      Promoting Responsibility in the Classification of National Security Information

For more information on the key criteria and the highlighted best practices, see here.  

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