Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Open Government Directive, and Sunlight issued the following statement.
In its first year, the Open Government Directive made government transparency a priority and encouraged federal agencies to put important information online. While more government information is now available online, the Directive’s limitations have also become clearer. Simply put, the president’s commitment to transparency is not yet living up to its full potential. The Open Government Directive is a great starting point, but the hard work that is needed to create a truly open government is still ahead of us.
Agencies such as the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services and NASA have led the way in releasing data, and the working groups created among key staff have brought about real cultural change within agencies. But all of these initiatives need a steady hand and a clear commitment from the White House to mature into permanent, reliable, effective policies that result in meaningful data online.
More concentrated work is needed to move beyond the easy wins. The administration has to give stronger direction and urge the agencies to move forward if the promise of an open government is to be realized.