The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Open Government Plan describes several ongoing and future projects with the potential to greatly expand the department’s transparency and public participation. But the plan suffers from a lack of specific details for implementation of those projects and dearth of “game-changing” ideas that would put the President’s open government ideals into meaningful action.
The plan illustrates DOI’s commitment to data transparency; the department has contributed a significant number of datasets to data.gov and has institutionalized a process for identifying and releasing its information holdings. The plan also emphasizes the importance of cultural change and employee buy-in to making open government practices sustainable, and includes extensive procedures for communicating open government principles to the employees of this large and disparate department.
The plan would be improved by more concrete details like milestones, timelines and identified stakeholders regarding how the proposed participation and collaboration initiatives will be realized. DOI’s flagship initiative – which seeks to provide the public with more information about climate change – is a worthy project, but it too would be improved by describing specifics that would help the public engage meaningfully.
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.