Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Open Government Plan posted on April 7 represents an obvious and significant effort produce a plan on time that addresses all but one of the areas required by the OGD. Further, HHS has committed itself to quickly addressing areas of the plan based on feedback. It is apparent from the plan that stakeholders across HHS have been communicating and coordinating efforts. They should be commended for producing several innovative Flagship Initiatives and for their direct and clear communications regarding their FOIA backlog.

The next iteration of HHS’s plan would be improved by addressing three elements. First, the plan should include greater specificity in the timelines for deliverables. Second, the plan needs stronger goals for participation with the public and other stakeholders and future iterations should include actual estimates of the market size of those who should/could benefit from the data and actual marketing/communications efforts to make material progress in engagement. Third, the plan should have an expanded scope on inventorying and providing access to agency information. The HHS plan should articulate the universe of information that should be available and utilized by external parties including the public or establish a process to achieve such an inventory. The plan should accelerate and magnify the amount of data disseminated and also modernize the HHS infrastructure.

If you any think part of the agency's plan is impressive, or you have concrete suggestions on how the agency could improve its plan, please share your ideas with us using the form at the bottom of the page.