The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative emphasizes transparency, participation, and collaboration. We'll get to the latter two in coming weeks, but today I want to talk about how you can help DOT work toward better transparency.
The Memo from the President announcing his initiative states that:
"Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use."
Now, as a former Congressman who worked in the House to keep agencies trim, I am absolutely on-board with the idea of better accountability. And I also appreciate the notion that information is a national asset, that it belongs to the American people.
So I am 100% ready to move DOT toward the "appropriate action" the President has called for.
And right now, as we formulate our Open Gov Strategic Plan in full public view, we are collecting ideas from the public about how to do just that.
The Open Government Directive connects transparency to the publication of "high-value" information. So if you have ideas about what information DOT should consider high-value, now is the time to share those ideas with us.
When the Directive talks about high-value, it refers to five criteria:
- Information that can be used to increase agency accountability and responsiveness.
- Information that improves public knowledge of the agency and its operations.
- Information that furthers the core mission of the agency.
- Information that create economic opportunity.
- Information that responds to need and demand as identified by public consultation.
So, please, visit the page for our Open Gov strategic action plan, read that plan, and click on the "Share Your Idea!" link to let us know what information you think we should prioritize for publication.
DOT is pleased to serve many different constituents and stakeholders. From consumers and travelers, to state and local DOTs, to planners and researchers, to application developers and business owners, we're covering a lot of ground.
And each of you may be served by a different road to transparency. So, please, we need to hear from all of you. And soon.