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Evaluating Commerce's Open Government Plan, version 1.0

The Commerce Open Government team was recently asked to assess just how well we answered the core questions of the Open Government Directive with the Open Government Plan we released earlier this month.

The table below establishes “grades” for each of the major components of our Open Government Plan and the overall result.  These grades were decided by looking at the 30 distinct questions/requirements laid out in the Directive itself and determining whether our plan fully satisfied (Green), partially satisfied (Yellow) or failed to address (Red).  You can see the full-evaluation by clicking the “Read More” link below.

Overall, we think the Commerce Department, like most other Federal Agencies tasked with responding, has partially satisfied the requirements for the Open Government plans and we're working quickly to address those parts that aren't quite there or could be better.  We'll make these changes over the next few weeks and, as soon as they're completed, we'll put them up on this site and make sure you know about them.

While we would have liked to have fully satisfied every requirement for our Open Government Plan from the start (like our friends at HHS, DOT and NASA), we also knew the plan we published on April 7 was a 1.0 release.  In the weeks ahead, we'll do everything we can to make the report we were proud to unveil earlier this month an even stronger.

Overall Grades for Commerce Open Government Plan

Formulating the Plan in the Open

Green

Transparency Component

Yellow

Participation Component

Green

Collaboration Component

Yellow

Flagship Initiatives Component

Yellow

Overall Rating

Yellow

Click "Read More" below to see our complete evaluation.

Self-Evaluation of Commerce's Open Government Plan (April 2010)


Overall Grades for Commerce Open Government Plan

Formulating the Plan in the Open

Green

Transparency Component

Yellow

Participation Component

Green

Collaboration Component

Yellow

Flagship Initiatives Component

Yellow

Overall Rating

Yellow

Formulating the Plan in the Open

Was multidisciplinary collaboration involved in formulating the plan?

Green

Was public consultation involved in crafting the plan?

Green

Was the plan published in an open format, online, on time and on the open government page and with raw data?

Green

Is there a plan for continued public engagement as part of the review and modification of the open government plan?

Green

Transparency Strategic Action Plan

Does the plan contain a strategic action plan that inventories agency high-value information currently available for download?

Green

Is there a plan to foster the public’s use of this information to increase public knowledge and promote public scrutiny of agency services?

Yellow

Does the action plan identify high value information not yet available and establish a reasonable timeline for publication online in open formats with specific target dates?

Green

For agencies providing public information in electronic format: Is there a plan for timely publication of underlying data for public information maintained in electronic format?

Green

Does the plan identify key audiences for information and their needs, and the agency endeavors to publish high-value information for each of those audiences in the most accessible forms and formats?

Green

Is there a plan to demarcate educational material as free for re-use?

Yellow

Does the plan detail compliance with transparency initiative guidance, and where gaps exist, detailed steps the agency is taking and the timing to meet the requirements for each initiative:

Data.gov

Yellow

eRulemaking

Red

IT Dashboard

Red

Recovery.gov

Yellow

USAspending.gov

Yellow

Are there details of proposed actions (with clear milestones) to inform the public of significant actions and business of the agency (e.g. agency public meetings, briefings, press conferences, town halls)?

Green

Does the plan address existing record management requirements by providing:

Website link

Yellow

Identifying and scheduling all electronic records

Yellow

Timely transfer of all permanently valuable records to the National Archives

Yellow

Does the plan address FOIA by providing:

Website link?

Yellow

Staffing, organizational structure, and process for responding to FOIA requests?

Green

Assessment of capacity to analyze, coordinate and respond to requests in a timely manner?

Green

If there is a significant FOIA backlog, details on how the agency will reduce the backlog by 10% each year?

Green

Does the plan address congressional requests by providing a:

Website link?

Red

Staffing, organizational structure, and process for responding to Congressional requests?

Yellow

Does the plan address declassification, if applicable by providing a:

Website link?

Yellow

Where the public can learn about declassification programs, accessing declassified materials, and provide input about what types of information should be prioritized for declassification?

Green

Participation

Does the plan explain how the agency will improve participation, including steps the agency will take to revise its current practices to increase opportunities for public participation in and feedback on the agency’s core mission activities (including proposed changes to internal management and administrative policies to improve participation)?

Green

Does the plan describe and provide links to websites for the public to engage in existing participatory processes?

Green

Are there proposals for new feedback mechanisms (including innovative tools and practices for public engagement)?

Green

Collaboration

Does the plan list steps the agency will take to revise its current practices to further collaboration:

Green

With other Federal and non-Federal government agencies? Including the use of technology platforms to this end?

Green

With the public? Including the use of technology platforms?

Green

With non-profit and private entities? Including technology platforms?

Yellow

Are there links to websites that describe existing collaboration efforts of the agency?

Green

Does the plan describe the Innovative methods (e.g. prizes and collaborations) to increase collaboration with the private sector, non-profit, and academic communities?

Yellow

Flagship Initiative

Does the plan include at least one specific flagship engagement?

Green

Does the description provide an overview of the initiative: how it addresses one or more of the three openness principles and how it aims to improve agency operations?

Green

Does it identify external partners for collaboration (if appropriate)?

Green

Is there a plan for public participation in contributing innovative ideas to the flagship?

Green

Does the description explain how the improvements to transparency, participation and/or collaboration will be measured?

Green

Does the flagship include a description of sustainability and room for improvement?

Yellow

Comments

I have a question : how often

I have a question : how often will this table updated ?

Re: I have a question : how often

Thanks for the question!

We'll be updating this table as soon as we make changes (i.e. as soon as we start making edits to the plan). We'll make sure to note any updates here on the blog.

T. Neil Sroka
Moderator

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