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News Archive of April 2010

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


Transparency Component


Participation Component


Collaboration Component


Flagship Initiatives Component


Overall Rating


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

Secretary Gary Locke: Our Open Government Plan


One of the most troubling things I’ve noticed in politics over the last few years has been the American public's growing disconnect from its government.

It’s understandable. Too often, all they hear is the usual noise – who’s up, who’s down, who’s in, who’s out. That’s what gets covered. That’s what makes headlines.

For Americans, business as usual in Washington has reinforced the belief that the government benefits the special interests and the well-connected at the expense of the American people. They seek information that can be difficult to find and see taxpayer dollars disappearing without a trace and lobbyists wielding undue influence.

Since the day he entered office, President Obama has been determined to change the old ways of Washington.

As part of that effort, he’s made an unprecedented commitment to opening the government to the people it serves. These initiatives will have a lasting impact, permanently breaking down barriers between the American people and the government they pay for.

Today, federal departments and agencies are putting forward concrete plans for making operations and data more transparent, and expanding opportunities for citizen participation, collaboration, and oversight. These steps will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness across the government.

I’m tremendously proud of the work the Open Government Team has put into creating this first iteration of the Commerce Department’s Open Government Plan. It establishes clear goals and benchmarks for success, and lays the foundation for continued work on increasing openness, participation and collaboration at Commerce in the months and years to come.

But open government is not the work of any single office.

The entire Obama administration is moving forward to translate the values of openness into lasting improvements in the way government makes decisions, solves problems and addresses national challenges. It’s a commitment we all share, one that will deepen the American people’s understanding of how their institutions work and their tax dollars are spent.

Gary Locke is the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce

Commerce's Open Government Plan (April 2010) Posted

The Open Government Team just posted the Department of Commerce's Open Government Plan (April 2010)

You can read, comment on sections and download a complete version of the plan on the Plan's page now.

Have more ideas for how Commerce can be even more open, transparent, and participatory?  Don't worry, this plan is just the start.  We're looking forward to reporting back on our progress and working with you on developing new goals and ideas for Open Government in the weeks and months ahead.