Open Government Plan - Participation and Collaboration (Why Commerce Needs to Do This )

IV.     Participation and Collaboration

Why Commerce Needs to Do This 

In his January 21, 2009 memorandum on open government, President Obama said:

“Government should be participatory.  Public engagement enhances the Government’s effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions.  Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge.  Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.  

Government should be collaborative.  Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government.  Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector.  Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation.”

Commerce’s long-standing, close relationship with external partners makes the Department an ideal candidate to adopt leading practices in proactively soliciting participation by the public.  Additionally, Commerce is seeking to increase employee participation in the formulation of significant policies and strategic plans.  The Secretary has called for breaking down barriers to cooperation previously existing between the Department’s operating units to create a Commerce Department that is a fully integrated service provider positioned to support sustainable economic growth across the entire business life cycle.  In order to realize this vision, managers across the agency have been asked to encourage communication and collaboration across operating units.