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Comments and Innovations for the Open Government and Transparency Directive

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Dear Forum members,

Another reminder to submit your ideas about the President's Open Government Directive.   The sponsors are looking to our community to submit ideas for improving transparency, collaboration, and participation across government, and to identify current and new innovations.  See full details below.  

A few clarifications since the last reminder:

1)  At this time, only federal employees are able to access the MAX wiki to submit comments.  Federal contractors who have a .gov or .mil email address can access it too.   MAX is not yet configured to allow state and local employees to participate.  However, the second phase of the initiative will allow for full public input, and state and local employees are highly encouraged to provide comments during that process.    We’ll share details as soon as they’re available.

2)  Please see the memo issued by OMB, GSA, and the head of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to all agency heads, inviting all federal employees to participate:

3) Post your comments and innovations to the MAX wiki ( ; click on “Open Government” under Government-Wide Communities).

If you need help creating a MAX account, contact or call 202-395-6860.

4)  As the first phase of the initiative, this online session is intended to be an informal gathering of information and suggestions.   Participation is not limited to one person per agency. Contributions will not be considered an official agency response.   T he sponsors are inviting as much open dialogue as possible.   There will be an opportunity later in the process for agencies to submit official statements of position, etc. 

5)   If you have questions about the initiative in general, please contact Robynn Sturm at:

6)  For more background on the initiative, see the presentation from Beth Noveck, who spoke on our monthly Web Mangers Forum webinar last month.  We've posted it on our Forum networking site .    (You can also contact Robyn, Rachel, or me for a copy)

Forwarded by Sheila R. Campbell/XCCF/CO/GSA/GOV on 03/06/2009 01:45PM -----

PLEASE NOTE: The comment period in MAX is  extended to 3/10/09.

Dear All:  

On January 21, President Obama signed a memorandum calling for interagency collaboration on the development of a Directive on Transparency and Open Government (see attached).  To facilitate this process OSTP, OMB and GSA have launched an online, interagency community to plan implementation of the President’s Directive and invite you to participate.  

The President's Memorandum calls for the development of recommendations for a Directive. This Directive will, in turn, instruct departments and agencies on specific actions that implement the principles outlined in the President's memorandum:  

Transparency - - “[P]ut information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public.”   
Participation - “[O]ffer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking.”   
Collaboration - “[U]se innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate … across all levels of Government and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector.” 
John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology together with Peter Orszag, Director, Office of Management and Budget, and Paul F. Prouty, Acting Administrator, General Services Administration issued a Memorandum to Heads of Departments and Agencies inviting federal employees to participate in the planning process by joining an online discussion on the MAX federal system. The Memorandum encourages legal, policy, and programmatic officials and staff to participate in order to foster an interdisciplinary discussion.  We hope and anticipate that your Council members and their staff will be among the most active and vocal participants in that discussion as your group offers a critical perspective on the issues. Please post to the wiki by going to the Open and Innovative Government Community on Max ( ; click on “Open Government” under Government-Wide Communities). The brainstorming discussion will run through   March 10.   Instructions are attached.   
The online session is intended to be an opportunity to propose topics, strategize alternatives, and make suggestions. As such, participation is not limited to one person per agency nor will contributions be considered an official agency response. Instead, specific recommendations that identify mechanisms, incentives, tools, and opportunities to further transparency, participation, and collaboration are sought as well as identification of potential legal, policy, and programmatic  issues that will need to be resolved. This initial online conversation will be followed by an opportunity for each agency to submit official statements of position, collaborate on drafting the Directive, and review the final draft Directive.  

Finally, in order to realize the opportunity for transformational, government-wide reform, we will showcase examples of innovations underway and proposed pilot projects that will lead to a more innovative and effective government.  The MAX environment provides a short template for submitting or proposing an agency innovation.

Thank you and please do not hesitate to contact us.  


Michele G. Heffner, Director, Interagency Policy and Management Division, GSA 
1800 F. St. NW, Room 2227 Washington, DC 20405 
Voice: 202-501-0954 
Fax:  202-501-3136

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