Champions of Participation 3

Federal Agency Managers and Staff
Weigh-In on Open Government Agenda

Nineteen senior leaders from 13 federal agencies and departments came together on May 12, 2009, at the headquarters of the Transportation Security Administration to offer ideas to the Open Government Directive.

During the three-hour discussion, participants shared their hopes and concerns for the directive, discussed the most important things that the directive should accomplish, and what is needed for the directive to be successfully implemented. Beth Noveck, the director of the White House task force responsible for creating the Directive, participated in the discussion and responded to participant questions and ideas.

Read the Report from Senior Agency Leaders that emerged from the half day discussion.
This Working Session was facilitated by AmericaSpeaks , Demos, Everyday Democracy, and Harvard University’s Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Among the ideas that emerged from the May 12 discussion are to:

  • The Open Government Directive should be led by an existing organization that has the highest authority to drive change across the federal government.
  • The President’s genuine, authentic commitment to the goals of open government must be communicated clearly to all agency employees.
  • Develop sufficient training systems to ensure that Federal employees have the skills they need to deliver on the goals of the Open Government Directive.
  • Establish and integrate a reporting and measurement process to assess progress on meeting the goals of the Open Government Directive.
  • Provide agencies with adequate funding to expand transparency, participation and collaborative activities.
  • Establish an online resource base that will enable sharing of best practices in participation, collaboration and transparency.
  • The Offices of Public Engagement or Open Government in the White House should regularly inquire about agency activities in participation and collaboration that advance Administration priorities in areas such as employment, heath care, education, energy and the environment.
  • Write the Open Government Directive using clear language that captures the imagination of federal employees and conveys the value and importance of open government.
  • Senior agency leaders who participated in the development of the report came from Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, National Mediation Board, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Park Service, Office of Science and Technology Policy, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, USDA Forest Service.