The Department of Transportation’s Open Government Plan demonstrates strong progress over the last year in the agency’s efforts to make its operations more open, participatory, and collaborative. For the most part, the department meets the requirements of the Open Government Directive. Though DOT does not include a high-value inventory in the plan, it indicates one is currently being compiled. The plan is commendable for going beyond the basic requirements to propose changes to internal management and administrative policies to improve participation.
The plan would be improved by better identifying target audiences in a more narrow fashion, which would accomplish a more precise work product in the end. The Department would also improve its plan by identifying more specific milestones and target dates, which will encourage DOT to accomplish goals.
On April 30, DOT released a version 1.1 of the plan which was not reviewed since this audit only evaluated initial agency plans. The department describes their plan as a “living document” and intends to update it frequently. Version 1.1, shows progress in almost all areas that received low scores. Some of their point losses are due a lack of website links to their FOIA and records management information which the agency fixed in the revised plan. They have also listed their key stakeholders and identified a plan to continually evaluate who their audience is in order to leverage that information with their collaborative tools. While the updated plan still does not include a data inventory, it does provide examples of data that will be released in the future and a detailed plan to identify other data and release it. If the original plan had these details it would have scored several points higher.
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.