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The Obama Administration's Open Government Directive
The Obama Administration has issued a remarkable document which surprisingly is not receiving the attention it deserves.
The document, entitled the "Open Government Initiative", was issued on December 8. The directive is very innovative in developing a working definition of the term "transparency". More specifically it is founded on the tenet which states that under the term "transparency' the public is not only entitled to government information but to accurate government information. The metric for assessing the accuracy of government information is the Information (Data) Quality Act.
The Directive continues with one of the first declarations that budgetary data disseminated by federal agencies is subject to the DQA, in particular data associated with the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. This declaration will increase public confidence in its assessment of the return on its dollars.
The commitment to accurate spending data is so great that the Directive requires agencies to designate "a high-level senior official to be accountable for the quality and objectivity of, and internal controls over, the Federal spending information publicly disseminated through such public venues as USAspending.gov or other similar websites."
Unlike numerous predecessor documents on transparency, the Directive assigns specific tasks to be performed on specific dates to specific agencies, all under the watchful eye of OMB.
A number of Administration's have made a commitment to transparency but the Obama Administration's Open Government Directive is in a class all its own.
Click here to read the Directive.