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Department of Commerce

Commerce Open Government Plan Version 3.5

Guest blog post by Joey Hutcherson,
Deputy, Open Government

On January 21, 2009, President Obama issued the first executive memorandum of his Administration, entitled “Transparency and Open Government.”  This memorandum established three guiding principles for the conduct of government activities. Government should be transparent.  Government should be participatory.  Government should be collaborative.

The Department of Commerce (the Department) is committed to the principles of Open Government, and we are pleased to present this mid-cycle release of the 2015 Department of Commerce Open Government Plan, version 3.5 (the Plan).  The Plan is updated annually to ensure the most current status of existing initiatives along with discussion of new initiatives are made available to the public.  This release represents its sixth publication and builds on the Department’s long history of information dissemination and the adoption of new tools and technology to enable transparency.  This plan features an exciting and new flagship initiative called the “Commerce Data Advisory Council” (CDAC).  Its addition, along with key progress updates on Open Government initiatives from our bureaus and operating units (BOU), make this an exciting edition of the Plan.  A summary of what is new in this version can be found in the “What’s New” section after the Introduction.  You will see that the Department continues to encourage and strive for increased participation and collaboration among its employees, other government agencies, and the American people to build upon our strategic goal of Operational Excellence. 

The Department invites the American public to join in as it moves toward becoming a more open and effective provider of government services and information. Please feel free to provide feedback by submitting comments to open@doc.gov.

To read the plan click this link http://open.commerce.gov/open-government-plan

Department of Commerce Environmental Justice Strategy

The Department of Commerce (DOC) Environmental Justice Strategy outlines the specific steps the Department will take to ensure the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all individuals by integrating environmental justice into its programs, policies, and activities. In implementing this Strategy, DOC will seek to meaningfully engage with communities and stakeholders.

We are happy to present this year’s progress report, which provides an overview of the Department’s activities relating to Environmental Justice in FY 2014. It is available on the Department’s Open Government website at The Department of Commerce Environmental Justice Strategy Page.

Department of Commerce Environmental Justice Strategy

The Department of Commerce (DOC) Environmental Justice Strategy outlines the specific steps the Department will take to ensure the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all individuals by integrating environmental justice into its programs, policies, and activities. In implementing this Strategy, DOC will seek to meaningfully engage with communities and stakeholders.

We are happy to present this year’s progress report, which provides an overview of the Department’s activities relating to Environmental Justice in FY 2014 in the table below.

The Department of Commerce's Paperwork Reduction Plans

In May 2012, the President issued Executive Order 13610, which requires Federal agencies to continually scrutinize rules and requirements on the books to make sure they are still necessary, streamlined and up-to-date.  He emphasized that agencies should give special consideration to reducing burdens on small businesses and should prioritize “initiatives that will produce significant quantifiable monetary savings or significant quantifiable reductions in paperwork burdens.” Following up on that directive, last June the Administration launched an aggressive paperwork burden reduction effort to eliminate unnecessary burdens on the American people and businesses. Agencies across the Administration heeded the President’s call and submitted paperwork reduction plans. Today, Commerce is posting these paperwork reduction plans, along with our retrospective review update pursuant to Executive Order 13563.

Department of Commerce Customer Service Plan

The U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) creates the conditions for economic growth and opportunity by promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, competitiveness, and stewardship informed by world-class scientific research and information.

Commerce places a premium on effectively and efficiently delivering customer services.  Customer Service is one of the six major themes of the Department's Strategic Plan and Balanced Scorecard, which the Secretary uses to track each bureau's progress towards key programmatic and management goals on a quarterly basis.  Accordingly, Commerce includes customer service goals and objectives in the performance plan for every employee throughout the Department.

As required by Executive Order 13571 on Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service, Commerce has developed a plan that identifies specific actions and initiatives to further advance its customer service delivery over the next year, focusing on key service areas and technology-driven initiatives.  This plan outlines the key elements of these initiatives.

Our first initiative is Commerce Connect, a collaborative partnership of all Commerce bureaus to streamline public access, through a one-stop model, to over 70 Department-wide programs that support U.S. businesses.  Our other initiatives represent best practices of individual bureaus.

The International Trade Administration is upgrading the content and navigability of its web site in support of the National Export Initiative.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is pursuing several projects to provide ready access to its backlog and pendency metrics, to accelerate its examination of patents for environmentally-friendly and conversation technologies, and to make bulk patent and trademark data readily available to the public, free of charge, on Google.

The Economic Development Administration will implement customer surveys on its upgraded grant application process, launch a microsite to highlight best practices in regional innovation, and facilitate the exchange of innovative ideas and perspectives in economic development.     The Bureau of Economic Analysis has upgraded the features and functionality of its web site and will survey users for their feedback.  The U.S. Census Bureau has implemented a search tool that enables readily searchable and exportable access to detailed economic data.  Lastly, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration is working to preserve and enable searchable public access to the extensive multi-agency data related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.