Interior Department Launches Open Government Plan
Today the U.S. Department of the Interior published its DOI Open Government Plan, detailing how it will improve transparency and integrate public participation and collaboration into its activities. DOI developed the plan in response to President Obama’s call for an open and accountable government, which he laid out in his Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government.
The plan, which meets the April 7 deadline the Office of Management and Budget required in its Open Government Directive, includes the specific actions DOI will undertake to incorporate the key principles of transparency, collaboration and participation into its core mission. It incorporates ideas DOI received from the public through Open Interior Idea Scale, as well as from a department-wide cross-disciplinary team DOI set up to address the important policy, culture and technology elements to open government.
In keeping with OMB’s directive, and in support of the priority Secretary Ken Salazar has placed on addressing climate change, DOI has chosen improving access to climate-change information as the flagship initiative for its Open Government Plan. This initiative will identify, organize, publish, and promote the use of hard science and data associated with natural-resources management. DOI will incorporate the principles of open government into this initiative as follows:
- Transparency: DOI will provide transparency into the information associated with climate change that it uses to support resource-management plans.
- Collaboration: DOI will seek the involvement of partner agencies to identify solutions that work, not only for its climate-change interests but also for those across the federal space. DOI may leverage the approaches it uses to identify information and to establish standards for other cross-governmental initiatives in the future.
- Participation: DOI will seek public participation and pursue prizes and challenges to draw on the creativity and talent of the public in use of climate-change information.
In addition to its flagship initiative, DOI’s Open Government Plan includes Salazar’s priority of engaging youth in the outdoors.
- DOI’s Office of Youth has created and will consistently maintain a comprehensive youth database. This database is a compilation of all of the youth programs, youth-serving partners, and youth-serving events that DOI is already being implementing and using throughout its eight departmental bureaus.
- The Office of Youth is also using online social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, to update the public and attempt to keep the pulse of public opinion on its Youth in the Great Outdoors initiative. Facebook will be a means for DOI bureaus, partners and programs to network, organize and advertize through an established, youth-driven Web site in order to draw in and maintain connection with our target audiences.
- The Office of Youth is also establishing a Youth in the Great Outdoors Web site where the public will be able to locate youth programs and events by location. The Web site, which a youth volunteer artist is developing will enable the Office of Youth to maintain maintain online interaction with the public though consistently responding to questions and suggestions. DOI’s TakePride.Gov will host the site.