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Defense Department Launches Open Government Plan

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2010 – The Defense Department today released its Open Government Plan, which articulates how the department seeks to make its operations and data more transparent to the public, officials said.

Available online at http://www.defense.gov/open, the plan outlines the department’s efforts to expand opportunities for citizen participation, collaboration and oversight. It is the latest major milestone for the department in its focus on openness and transparency, as envisioned in a directive issued in December by President Barack Obama.

“The Department of Defense has demonstrated its commitment to improve transparency, participation and collaboration,” since the directive was issued, Elizabeth A. McGrath, assistant deputy chief management officer, said in a news release. “Improved transparency can enable the public to better understand goals and activities of the department and facilitate analysis of data never before shared publicly. Broader participation can serve to lower barriers between the federal government and public citizens.”

Together with public input, the Open Government Plan includes material from across the department, drawing on the expertise of management, public affairs, the technology sector, security and legal professionals. The collaborative nature of the process is symbolic of its goals: an agency that is more efficient and collaborative at accomplishing its key mission and is more transparent and open to taxpayers, officials said.

"Embracing open government at the Department of Defense will generate new ideas benefiting both the warfighter and U.S. citizens,” McGrath, head of the Defense Department's Open Government project, said. “The department looks forward to strengthening the pillars of Open Government in the months and years to come.”

In the past four months, the department has created an open government Web page, added high-value data sets to http://www.data.gov and has begun to create a governance structure for a long-term commitment to these goals.

In February and March, the public was invited to submit ideas for the plan on an Open Government Web site. Citizens suggested 92 ideas, cast more than 600 votes and wrote 111 comments.

Defense officials reviewed all of the suggestions and comments in drafting the Open Government Plan document, and specifically committed to acting on several of the most-popular ideas.

The plan, posted online today, aims to continue the dialogue by allowing the public to comment on individual sections, officials said.

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Biographies:
Elizabeth A. McGrath

Related Sites:
Open Government Plan



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