Open Government Plan - Leadership, Governance and Culture Change

II.      Leadership, Governance, and Culture Change

The Department of Commerce’s programmatic responsibilities are carried out by 12 operating units: 

Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)
Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau)
Economic Development Administration (EDA)
Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA)
International Trade Administration (ITA)
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
National Technical Information Service (NTIS)
National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Through their unique missions, each of these operating units contributes to Commerce’s overall objective of promoting economic growth for the nation and opportunity for all Americans.  They are driving initiatives which range from enhancing patent processing to developing sustainable and resilient fisheries, from transforming service delivery to businesses to expanding international markets for U.S. firms, and from creating scientific and technological innovation to advancing measurement science.

This diversity creates challenges as well as strengths.  Since taking office, Secretary Locke has called upon managers and employees at all levels to seek opportunities for greater collaboration both among Commerce operating units and other federal agencies.  He has challenged the workforce to bring together ongoing initiatives from across the Department to form a unified, strategic approach and to pursue opportunities to collaborate, increase performance, and enhance customer service.  He has asked employees to think creatively as to how they can better work together to harness the power of their diverse talents. 

The dissemination of scientific, technical and economic information has been a critical part of the Department’s mission since its inception, and Commerce recognizes the benefits that government-wide initiatives to enhance transparency and accessibility offer in carrying out its responsibilities.  To assist it in institutionalizing such initiatives, Commerce recently created an interdisciplinary, Department-wide leadership, planning, and execution team to implement the Open Government Initiative.  Membership in this group comprises the Chief Information Officer; General Counsel; Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration (CFO/ASA); representatives from the Offices of Public Affairs, and Policy and Strategic Planning; and subject matter experts from key mission areas.  This team supplements the existing and ongoing efforts of the extensive team that Commerce launched almost a year ago.   

As an organization, Commerce is continuing to explore other ways of working better across organizational lines to improve service delivery and recognizes that opportunities for greater progress exist. For example, CommerceConnect, which is discussed below, is a creative intersection where these cultural changes may meet.  As announced by Secretary Locke, CommerceConnect is intended to streamline access to government services and solutions to aid American businesses.  Commerce is leading this initiative focused on integrating grant programs, partnership efforts, and other business-related services by starting with a pilot project in Michigan.  Its primary goal is to provide a “one-stop-shop” for information, counseling, and access to the breadth of services that can help a business transform itself into a viable and competitive enterprise.