Open Government Plan - Transparency (Why Commerce needs to do this)

III.    Transparency

“Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset.” 

President Barack Obama

Unlocking public access to government data is a critical component of the President’s Open Government Initiative because it can help drive innovation by tapping into the ingenuity of the American people, increase agency accountability, and create a standard for government that is open, transparent and participatory.  Transparency is imperative to a government that is accountable to its people.  

This principle particularly applies to Commerce, given its partnerships with state, local and tribal governments, educational and scientific institutions, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit businesses this principle is particularly relevant to Commerce.  From the amount of rainfall measured by NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) to the complex portrait of the nation developed every 10 years by the Census Bureau, data collection and dissemination is a vital aspect of what the Department does.  As a result, Commerce – as a whole – must be fully committed to making its data sets more broadly accessible through the government-wide initiative.  It is also prepared to serve as a leader in the Federal Government’s effort to make more raw data and tool sets of packaged data available through the website and other data repositories.