Version 1.1 of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Open Government Plan makes significant progress towards meeting the requirements of the Open Government Directive (OGD). Specifically, Version 1.1 includes required links, and identifies data sets available in Data.gov and specific new high value data sets it plans to release in the future. DOJ staff participated in conference calls and a meeting with the auditors and OpenTheGovernment.org staff, and they took advantage of this constructive criticism to improve their plan. The revised plan provides specific details and deadlines for implementing and sustaining their flagship initiative, the FOIA Dashboard. In addition, the plan notes that DOJ will review its FOIA regulations and initiate a rulemaking process this year to ensure their consistency with the President’s goals of greater transparency. The revised plan also details DOJ’s own performance in responding to FOIA requests, and includes statistics on backlogs of the Department’s components and their capacity to respond to requests.
Of particular note is that DOJ has agreed to make publicly available a valuable collection of digital legislative histories and to provide access to significant court filings through its Web site, along with an RSS/XML feed so the public can track the briefs as they are posted. DOJ also committed to attaching relevant court filings to press releases, which will be of great value to the media, researchers and the public.
The revised plan ties disclosure, public participation and collaboration with stakeholders directly to its mission. The expanded section on the FOIA Dashboard in particular demonstrates the importance of the Department’s leadership as the primary agency responsible for FOIA implementation across the government.
The revised plan is a dynamic document, and the auditors will be working closely with DOJ to ensure that the plan is effectively implemented.
View the original evaluation here.
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