On December 8, 2009, President Obama issued the directive for his Open Government Initiative (OGI).
This initiative lays out the Administration's view of what transparent, collaborative, and participatory government will look like when it's pushed out to the departments--like DOT--that make up our federal government and touch the lives of citizens.
Since that day, DOT has been a leader in implementing the OGI.
For example, we developed our /open page in plain view, first publishing, well in advance of the President's deadline, the shell of our web page. Since then we've been adding--in full site of the public--our different pieces. This is consistent with what the Sunlight Foundation calls an iterative process:
"Sometimes the best thing to do is act, and to make improvements as necessary. That should be the spirit in which the Administration’s Open Government Initiative is being undertaken, and it should be judged on similar terms."
On our /open page we have posted our approach to open government planning and implementation for all to see. That includes our internal milestones so everyone with web access can monitor our progress and hold our feet to the fire.
It also includes public access to our OpenDOT Citizen Engagement Tool, where anyone can propose ideas about DOT's approach to the OGI and others can comment on those ideas or vote them up or down.
Now, I'm excited about this tool because it allows the public to shape our approach. You can tell us what kind of data you want to see published. You can propose what kind of applications developers outside DOT should create with our data. You can show us opportunities for public participation in DOT's mission.
And this is truly a department-wide effort as we have over 200 people from all areas of DOT involved in fulfilling not just the letter of this initiative, but its spirit.
You see, we're not just checking-off items on the Directive's to-do list. We are transforming DOT to make openness, transparency, participation, and collaboration part of our Department's DNA.To do that best, we need people to visit the site, read through the materials there, and use the "Share Your Idea!" link to, well, share your ideas.