Open Government Plan†
On his first full day in office, President Obama issued his Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, which instructed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to issue an Open Government Directive. That Directive was issued by the Director of OMB on December 8, 2009. As the implementation arm of Presidential policy within the Executive Office of the President, OMB’s principal role in the President’s Open Government Initiative has been to help formulate, draft, and issue the Directive, and to guide agencies throughout the Executive Branch in its implementation. In addition to its leadership role in these transparency efforts, OMB’s own operations are guided by the Directive as outlined in this Open Government Plan.
This Plan, which was developed with extensive input from every division of OMB, opens with an outline of OMB’s role in executing the President’s vision for transparency and open government. OMB’s central mission is to oversee the preparation and implementation of the Federal Budget and to oversee and coordinate the Administration’s legislative, management, performance management, and regulatory policies. This unique role enables OMB to work with agencies across the Administration to identify new ways to improve upon government’s delivery of services and information to the public. As such, OMB has been instrumental in recent open government innovations throughout the Administration, providing technical and other support to agencies looking to fulfill the President’s mandate.
For the purposes of this report, however, the following Plan is solely focused on transparency and open government initiatives in the services that OMB provides directly to the public. These initiatives are providing unprecedented access to information about how federal dollars are spent and new opportunities for the public to interact with government. A stand-out example of these efforts this year is the annual Budget for the U.S. Government – OMB’s largest singular undertaking each year – which is now available at the most granular level. Line-by-line, any member of the public can now access searchable Budget tables online for their own use. This is just one of the ways in which OMB is removing barriers to information that the public demands and shining light on previously inaccessible governmental processes. Others include the extensive use of online media to make government information available and easily understandable to the general public.
The following key components of OMB’s Open Government Plan reflect not only the principles guiding its managerial role in the Executive Branch, but also the services it provides directly to the public.
- Transparency. OMB’s Open Government Plan discusses OMB’s current procedures and activities to promote the transparency of OMB’s operations. It also includes OMB’s Strategic Action Plan to Improve Transparency and its budgetary, legislative, management, and regulatory oversight activities.
- Participation. Historically, OMB has engaged parties outside of the Executive Branch to a limited degree. As part of this Administration’s Open Government efforts, OMB will increase its engagement with targeted audiences outside of the Executive Branch. OMB does communicate with members of the public as part of its centralized review of agency regulatory actions, agency information collection requests, and program examination to formulate the Budget. To promote Open Government, OMB will continue these communications and take concrete steps to increase public participation, especially in the rulemaking process, where new technologies create unprecedented opportunities for citizen engagement.
- Collaboration. Within the Executive Branch, OMB is engaged in a number of intensive collaboration activities. These activities support OMB’s efforts to manage and implement the President’s budgetary, management, and legislative initiatives and policies. To promote Open Government, OMB describes in detail its collaboration activities and proposes concrete steps to expand them.
- Flagship Initiatives. OMB’s Plan describes the recently launched Regulatory Review Dashboard, which provides important and easily accessible information about regulatory actions submitted by agencies to OMB for review under Executive Order 12866. OMB is committed to updating and improving the Regulatory Review Dashboard; with the help of the public, improvements have already been implemented since the initial launch. In addition, this summer OMB will launch a Performance Management Dashboard to serve as a one-stop shop for agency and cross-government performance data. The site will provide transparency to the public on agency progress against performance priorities, and will serve as a platform for solving problems and sharing best practices.
This Open Government Plan is only initial step in a continuing long-term effort to make OMB more open in its activities. The initiatives and commitments included in the Plan provide an initialroadmap for future improvements. OMB welcomes public input on this Plan and invites suggestions for additional steps OMB might take to promote openness. Feedback on OMB’s Open Government plan or open government efforts in general can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.