This short video kicked off President Obama’s speech at last month’s launch of the international Open Government Partnership.
What do you think? How would these ideas change NASA? How would these ideas change the federal government?
The Obama Administration also just released a Status Report on their Commitment to Open Government, showing progress, addressing critiques and anticipating the next steps in opening the government.
Some highlights from the Status Report:
There is no “Open” button that can be pushed to render the federal government more open overnight. Creating a more open government instead requires, as the President has instructed, sustained commitment—by public officials and employees at all levels of government.
Open government is a long-term thing. Our singular goal is to infuse transparency, collaboration, and participation into every part of government. It will require every person, every organization, every agency. Some carry a misperception that OpenGov is a report we’ve submitted or a group we’ve designated for a particular task.
Open governmentis a means, not an end. As President Obama has made clear, greater openness “will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” These twin goals—a stronger democracy, a more effective government—have motivated the Administration’s efforts in this area.
We aren’t doing this to check another box, or because someone else thinks it’s a good idea. We’re doing this because it’s a means to do our mission (and the whole country’s mission, actually) better and more effectively.
Where citizens can observe the workings of government, they become more invested in what government does. Government openness empowers citizens as well, as they are more able to express their views about policy decisions that affect them. Openness makes democracy stronger also by encouraging government officials to perform better, for where government is more open, they are more likely to be held accountable for their decisions, both good and bad. Similarly, a more open government makes it easier for the media and watchdog groups to expose, and therefore deter, improper or otherwise undesirable influences on policymakers. In short, openness enhances democracy by giving citizens a greater voice in what government does, and promoting government action that advances the interests of all, not just a privileged few.
This is exactly why I am committed to OpenGov at NASA: these principles encourage us to be our best, hold us accountable for what we do, and give all citizens another pathway into the real work of the government. These principles create a NASA that is the best for every American citizen.
I’m so proud to be a part of this - and I hope you are too.