Open Government Directive only weeks away

Agencies will need formal plans on providing machine-readable data to the public

Federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra said the White House is weeks away from issuing the Open Government Directive. The CTO spoke at the Gov 2.0 conference being held this week in Washington.

In January, newly elected President Barack Obama issued a letter stating that the Office of Management and Budget would issue a directive, called the Open Government Directive, which would instruct executive departments and agencies to take specific actions to make themselves more transparent, participatory and collaborative.

Although the president stipulated that OMB would issue the directive within 120 days of the issuance of the letter, Chopra said it took the Senate that much time to confirm him as CTO.

Among the key principles of the directive will be that "every agency will be directed to publish and engage the public in their open-government plans," Chopra said. Agencies must deliver "a structured schedule of how data will be released to the American people in a machine-readable format," he said.

Agencies will also be asked to provide details of how they "will engage the public in policy-making," he said. OMB will also provision an additional set of platforms, like Data.gov and the Spending Dashboard, that will help agencies meet these directives.

"We want to hardwire our agency accountability for open government," Chopra said.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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