Interior Unveils First Departmental Open Government Plan

Last edited 09/29/2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.--The Department of the Interior today unveiled its first DOI Open Government Plan, detailing how the department will improve transparency and integrate public participation and collaboration into its activities.

“President Obama has charged us with using technology to create a more honest government that is more accountable to the American people” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “I'm proud that our plan does this by taking proactive, measurable steps to make Interior more transparent and more accessible. Citizen engagement has long been a hallmark of the Department of the Interior, but full adoption of the open government plan has catalyzed us to make changes in culture and policy as well as in technology.”

To facilitate the cultural changes, the Interior Open Government Plan aims to incorporate “two primary tools, a dedicated leadership and governance structure and a communications plan with actionable and measureable results."

Recognizing that open government is about more than just standing up new tools and technologies, Interior formed a Department-wide cross-disciplinary team to devise the plan and address the important policy, culture, and technology elements involved in “open” government. Enhancing public participation is a key goal of the plan.

The plan, which meets the April 7 deadline the Office of Management and Budget required in its Open Government Directive, includes the specific actions Interior will undertake to incorporate the key principles of transparency, collaboration and participation into its core mission.

A primary goal of the Department of the Interior's Open Government Plan is to increase the Department's ability to meet its mission more effectively and efficiently by transparently engaging stakeholders in decision making.

Interior's flagship initiative, for example, will be in the area of improving access to climate change information. This initiative will identify, organize, publish, and promote the use of hard science and data associated with natural resources management.

• Transparency: Provide transparency into the information associated with climate change that is used to support resource management plans.

• Collaboration: Seek the involvement of partner agencies to identify solutions that work, not only for DOI's climate change interests, but those across the Federal space. The approaches used in identifying information and establishing standards may be leveraged for other cross-Governmental initiatives in the future.

• Participation: Public participation will be sought and prizes and challenges will be pursued to draw on the creativity and talent of the public in use of climate change information.

In addition to the flagship initiative, Interior's Open Government Plan aligns with the Secretarial 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.

DOI has posted its full Open Government Plan at The public can submit feedback on the Open Government Plan by sending an email to

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