Watchdog group charts open government winners and losers

Five federal agencies have made dramatic improvements in their Open Government plans since April, according to a new independent audit released today.

Five federal agencies have made dramatic improvements in their open government plans since April, according to a new independent audit released today of 39 agency transparency plans.

Under the president’s Open Government Directive issued in December 2009, 39 federal agencies were required to file Open Government Plans by April 2010 outlining how they would carry out the objectives of the directive. After receiving feedback on their plans, 23 of those agencies submitted updated plans, according to the OpenTheGovernment.org watchdog coalition.

The Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services departments, as well as the General Services and Social Security administrations, all moved up in ratings to be included among the 10 highest-scoring agencies, according to the watchdog group’s evaluation.


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Justice rose from 38th place to eighth, while HHS moved from 24th place into second place; SSA jumped from 22nd place to sixth; GSA rose from 19th place to ninth; and Education went from 11th place to fifth.

“Clearly the race to the top is on. Agencies have improved their plans by responding to feedback from the administration, and from the public and committing resources toward this initiative. We look forward to continuing to build on this momentum as we look at implementation of open government,” Patrice McDermott, director of OpenTheGovernment.org, said in a news release.

The watchdog group’s audit examined whether the plans met the standards spelled out in the directive, and awarded bonus points for exceeding the requirements.

Also among the 10 top-scoring agencies were Corporation for National and Community Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Agriculture and Transportation departments.

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