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A Mandate To Open Up

Feb 18, 2010

With the release in December of President Obama’s Open Government Directive, the requirement for “opening” government processes and databases has shifted from planning to implementation. Federal agencies face an aggressive timeline for releasing data, engaging the public in new ways, and publishing the steps they will take to promote transparency and public participation in government.

The directive, released on Dec. 8, lays out 45-, 60-, 90-, and 120-day milestones that federal agencies are expected to meet. Two deadlines have already passed, and the others are rapidly approaching. As a first step, agencies had to release three “high-value” data sets. Then, by Feb.6, they were required to launch Web sites to inform the public of their open government activities, and the White House was due to introduce a Web dashboard for assessing their progress. By April 7, agencies are to publish their overall plans for complying with the directive.





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