Office of Science and Technology Policy Invites Comment on Transparency and Open Government

Today the Office of Science and Technology Policy published a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comment on issues related to transparency and open government. The Federal Register notice is published here.

We reported earlier this year about President Obama’s transparency and open government memorandum signed on January 21, 2009—President Obama’s first full day in office. Among other things, this memorandum directed the Chief Technology Officer, along with the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration, to develop recommendations for an “Open Government Directive.” The notice published today now invites the public to contribute to the recommendations that will become part of the Open Government Directive. 

Here is an excerpt from the notice:

The purpose of this Federal Register notice is to solicit public participation in the development of those recommendations. There is a great deal of dispersed information among the nation’s citizens. With twenty-first century tools, the United States is in a unique position to take advantage of that dispersed information to inform the policymaking process. Our goal is to use the principles of open government to obtain fresh ideas about open government itself.

The notice seeks comment on “government-wide or agency-specific policy, project ideas, and relevant examples.” Some possible areas of comment include identifying what government information should be readily available and searchable online and how government operations may be made more transparent and accountable.

According to the notice, the Open Government Directive will be issued by OMB and used to “instruct executive departments and agencies on specific actions to implement the principles set forth in the President’s transparency and open government memorandum.” Click here for more information on these broad principles of openness.

Comments from the public are due June 19, 2009. The Federal Register notice includes more information on suggested areas for comment and filing procedures.

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