Under a new open government plan released by the Obama administration, U.S. government agencies must publish their information online in “open formats” and proactively release data using modern technologies instead of waiting for Freedom of Information Act requests
Agencies, to the greatest extent that is practical, should publish their data online in an open format that can be “retrieved, downloaded, indexed, and searched by commonly used web search applications,” wrote Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OBM) in an 11-page memo released this week.
The Obama administration’s Open Government Initiative also requires U.S. agencies to preserve and maintain electronic information, and it calls on them to proactively release data using modern technologies, instead of waiting for Freedom of Information Act requests from the public.
“The three principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration are at the heart of this directive,” Orszag wrote in a blog post. “Transparency promotes accountability. Participation allows members of the public to contribute ideas and expertise to government initiatives. Collaboration improves the effectiveness of government by encouraging partnerships and cooperation within the federal government, across levels of government, and between the government and private institutions.”
Federal agencies must set up open government Web pages within 60 days, publish three “high-value” data sets online within 45 days, and publish a plan on improving transparency within 120 days. Members of the Obama administration will create an open government dashboard designed to track open government progress within 60 days, Orszag said in the memo.
White House Releases long-awaited Open Government directive – Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Federal Agencies must Post Public Data Online – Washington Post
White House Orders Agencies To Open Up – Wired News