On his first day on the job President Barack Obama told his Senior Staff,
“Our commitment to openness means more than simply informing the American people about how decisions are made. It means recognizing that Government does not have all the answers, and that public officials need to draw on what citizens know. And that’s why, as of today, I’m directing members of my administration to find new ways of tapping the knowledge and experience of ordinary Americans—scientists and civil leaders, educators and entrepreneurs—because the way to solve the problems of our time, as a nation, is by involving the American people in shaping the policies that affect their lives.”
Knowing we don’t have all the answers, we’re changing the way we think about our work at the National Archives and Records Administration. We’re shifting our perspectives to reflect the fact that we do not have all the answers. The principles of open government – transparency, participation, and collaboration – help us draw on what citizens know.
Today, we release our updated Open Government Plan for 2012-2014. Looking back over the past two years, I’m proud of our accomplishments in strengthening open government in our agency and in our society. We set an ambitious path, accomplishing almost 70 tasks. Over the next two years our work will include:
- Creating a new culture based on common values and restructuring the agency to better serve the American people;
- Creating the critical conditions conducive for employee engagement, including launching an internal collaboration network for our staff;
- Creating an innovative culture that utilizes new and emerging technology; and
- Improving online access to our records and revising our strategy to digitize records to provide the online access you expect.
More than two years ago, I launched this blog on the same day we released our first Open Government Plan. It’s interesting for me to look back on that first post, “No Small Change,” and to read the comments from both inside and outside the agency expressing enthusiasm for the changes that were to come.
Are we on the right track? Have the changes impacted your work? Is the updated plan bold enough? Let me know what you think.