Word of the Day: Tech Definitions from WhatIs.com

May 14 2010   4:57PM GMT

Overheard talking about the Open Government Directive

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

A lot of these agencies are built on infrastructures that can’t handle the demand, especially when you put out that information on the public domain.

Vivek Kundra, Gov 2.0 Summit

Today’s WhatIs.com Word of the Day is Open Government Directive.

Guest blogger: Crystal Bedell

Open Government Directive provides requirements for the online publication of government data. U.S. executive departments and federal agencies are required to release public information online in machine-readable, open formats, thereby exposing their operations to the public. They are also required to integrate public participation in the policy-making process.

The Office of Management and Budget issued the Open Government Directive and its instructions in 2009 by order of President Barack Obama. The Open Government Directive’s goal is to promote transparency, participation, and collaboration between the federal government and the public. The transparency that comes with online disclosure is intended to promote accountability and enable public participation in the policy-making process.

To comply with the mandate, agencies had to identify “high-value information” that was already available online, identify “high-value information” that was not online but would be, and establish a timeline for that data’s publication. There has been some confusion, however, as to what data constitutes high value. The Open Government Directive definition of high-value information is very broad, including data that can “increase agency accountability and responsiveness; improve public knowledge of the agency and its operations; further the core mission of the agency; create economic opportunity; or respond to need and demand as identified through public consultation.”

In addition to publishing public data, each agency must publish an /Open page on its Web site (e.g., www.justice.gov/open) that discloses the agency’s efforts in regards to the initiative and engages the public, looking for help and feedback on its processes.

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