White House wants help on open government dashboard

Dashboard should hold officials' 'feet to the fire' on achieving open government goals

A major component of the recently released Open Government Directive requires that a dashboard be created to measure the success or failure of federal agencies in complying with the directive, and White House officials now want help on how to build it.

In a blog post dated Dec. 14, Beth Noveck, deputy chief technology officer and director of the White House Open Government Initiative, wrote: “Now we need to enlist your help with holding ‘our feet to the fire’ and ensuring that we continue to succeed at changing the way that Washington works.”

The directive calls for creating a dashboard under the leadership of federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. As agencies implement their open government plans, White House officials will use the dashboard to measure progress and effect, including agencies’ success at developing open government plans across the executive branch, according to Noveck.

The dashboard will combine quantitative and qualitative measures of progress. White House officials want information about what metrics the dashboard should measure.

Noveck said examples of quantitative measures could include:

  • Whether an agency has completed its requirements under the directive, such as creating an open government Web page, completing an open government plan with public consultation, and posting three new data sets on data.gov
  • Whether an agency has appointed an “innovation leader” or designated one or more officials to lead the agency’s open government program or
  • The percentage change of information the agency publishes online in open, machine-readable formats compared with the year before.

Examples of qualitative measures, according to Noveck, could include:

  • How the agency and the public characterize the agency’s level of openness
  • Whether the agency successfully posted high-value data, such as information that increases agency accountability and responsiveness, improves public knowledge of the agency and its operations, or furthers the core mission of the agency or
  • Whether the agency creates any “data platforms” for sharing data across agencies and/or levels of government?.

Suggestions should be posted on the the Open Government blog.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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