White House issues second-quarter report card for agency open-gov plans

18 agencies meet all criteria; 11 still have work to do

Despite a second chance to revise their open-government plans, 11 federal agencies are still falling short, according to White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra.

According to the White House's assessment dashboard, the lowest-scoring agencies are the National Science Foundation and the State Department, which have met five of the 10 transparency criteria, and the Agriculture, Commerce and Labor departments, which have met six of the 10 criteria.

Eighteen agencies' transparency plans have met all the requirements of the Obama administration’s Open Government Directive, Chopra and Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote in the White House’s "Open Government Blog" Aug. 12.

“A total of 18 agencies are ‘all green,’ which means that they have crafted plans that meet every requirement under the directive,” Chopra wrote. “Moreover, agencies that are still yellow have made significant progress in revising and improving their plans.”

However, a watchdog group is calling attention to the need for consequences for agencies that do not meet the open-government requirements.


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Open government plans updated, criticized


“The Open Government Directive can either become a dated, rhetorical memo or a transformative commitment to a new era of openness,” wrote John Wonderlich, policy director at the Sunlight Foundation, on the group’s blog Aug. 11. "Only if the White House holds agencies to their requirements and plans can the directive have real force."

Twenty-nine agencies published open-government plans in April to comply with the directive. After evaluations and public feedback, the agencies released revised plans in late June. The White House updated its online dashboard this week to highlight progress on the open-government measures.

Chopra cited several agencies as open-government leaders: the Transportation Department for leadership, governance and culture change; the Health and Human Services Department for transparency; and the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and the Treasury Department for participation and collaboration.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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