When there are big events, I like to pull together resources in one place — and, of course, this has been open government week — the Office of Management and Budget issued a series of policies, while agencies issued their open government plans.
* White House Office of Science and Technology Policy blog post by Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform: Open for Change, which he says will “strengthen our democracy and promote accountability, efficiency and effectiveness across the government.”
* Sunlight’s Jake Brewer has told open government advocates:
Put simply, it’s increasingly clear government is not going to become more open and transparent without extraordinary public pressure. And WE are going to have to be the ones to put that pressure on them.
You can help right now by joining our campaign for open government and signing the pledge to demand all public government information be available ONLINE and in REAL-TIME.
This is fairly far from awesome. I’d actually label it fairly disappointing. Not only are both documents written to be as vague as possible (the PRA primer, for instance, spends most of its text simply repeating statute), this doesn’t really get us where we need to be…
More disappointing from my standpoint, it keeps in place the notion that citizen interaction with the government is essentially a “burden” and still codifies the position that significant interaction with the public should be minimized (this is clearly contrary to open government).
The discussion has spurred me to actually print out the Paperwork Reduction Act and read it for myself to get a sense of what it actually says. My sense is that some of what OMB is trying to do is work within the constraints of the law — a law enacted in the early 1980s before hardly anybody even had e-mail addresses.