USDA releases draft open-gov plan

Agency seeks public comment, but there's just slightly more than a week before it's due

The Agriculture Department published a draft version of its open-government plan Monday that details how the agency plans to become more open and transparent to the public, according to USDA officials.

Most federal agencies must publish an open-government plan by April 7 under the Open Government Directive issued by the Office of Management and Budget in December 2009.


Related:

Link to USDA draft plan

Agency mission, not technology, should be guide for open government efforts


USDA officials want comments from the public about the draft plan before the final version is due in April, said Amanda Eamich, USDA’s director of new media. Input from the public helped USDA officials create the draft plan, she said.

“We are thrilled with the level of civic engagement facilitated through our Open Gov site,” Eamich said. “Individuals contributed to a broad and dynamic discussion that helped us develop the Open Gov Plan draft – and we hope the dialogue continues.”

One section of the draft plan discusses how USDA officials plan to collaborate more with the public. The agency will create a cultural, technical and policy environment that fosters partnerships and harness the ideas of the private and public organizations as well as individuals.

The plan also includes provisions for creating incentives for collaboration and for the use of technology to increase efficiency.

Since USDA launched its open government Web site on Jan. 28, more than 860 individuals contributed to agency’s Open Community with 104 ideas, 508 votes, and 194 comments, according to USDA.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

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