The Open Government Partnership, launched in the summer of 2011 can trace its roots to President Obama’s challenge to the members of the United Nations General Assembly in September of 2010—a challenge to work together to make all governments more transparent, collaborative, and participatory. The Partnership has grown from eight to more than 60 nations representing more than 1,000 commitments to improve the governance of more than two billion people around the world.
The United States issued its first Open Government National Action Plan in September of 2011 and the National Archives participated in the process. In December of 2013, the White House issued the Second Open Government National Action Plan, committing to work with the public and civil society organizations to implement initiatives to increase public integrity, to manage resources more effectively, and to improve public services.
I’m pleased (and proud) to report that five of the ten action items addressing public integrity have the National Archives written all over them!
- Improve Public Participation in Government. Our Citizen Archivist Dashboard activities and Federal Register 2.0 are just two experiments in increasing public engagement.
- Modernize Management of Government Records. Implementation of the President’s Memorandum on Managing Government Records and the Directive on Managing Government Records are works in progress in this arena.
- Modernize the Freedom of Information Act. Our Office of Government Information Services Annual Report contains a series of actions aimed at addressing this initiative.
- Transform the Security Classification System. The work of our Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) and the Public Declassification Information Board’s Report to the President are singled out in this initiative.
- Implement the Controlled Unclassified Information Program. ISOO has taken the lead in establishing the program to address this initiative.
Each one of these initiatives involves lots of National Archives expertise across the agency and shines many lights on the critical role that this expertise brings to modernizing government. I look forward to sharing progress with you and hope you will let me know when you are feeling the impact of these changes.