Required Components of the Open Government Plan:(1) inventories agency high-value information currently available for download;
Transparency: The Open Government Plan should explain in detail how the agency will improve transparency. It should describe
(2) fosters the public’s use of this information to increase public knowledge and promote public scrutiny of agency services; and
(3) identifies high value information not yet available and establishes a reasonable timeline for publication online in open formats with specific target dates. High-value information is information that can be used to increase agency accountability and responsiveness; improve public knowledge of the agency and its operations; further the core mission of the agency; create economic opportunity; or respond to need and demand as identified through public consultation.
ii. A plan for timely publication of the underlying data (in cases where the agency provides public information maintained in electronic format) in an open format and as granular as possible, consistent with statutory responsibilities and subject to valid privacy, confidentiality, security, or other restrictions. The agency should also identify key audiences for its information and their needs, and endeavor to publish high-value information for each of those audiences in the most accessible forms and formats. In particular, information created or commissioned by the Government for educational use by teachers or students and made available online should clearly demarcate the public’s right to use, modify, and distribute the information.iii. Details as to how the agency is complying with transparency initiative guidance such as Data.gov, eRulemaking, IT Dashboard, Recovery.gov, and USAspending.gov. Where gaps exist, the agency should detail the steps the agency is taking and the timing to meet the requirements for each initiative.
iv. Details of proposed actions to be taken, with clear milestones, to inform the public of significant actions and business of the agency, such as through agency public meetings, briefings, press conferences on the Internet, and periodic national town hall meetings.
v. A link to a publicly available website that shows how the agency is meeting its existing records management requirements. These requirements serve as the foundation for the agency’s records management program, which includes such activities as identifying and scheduling all electronic records and ensuring the timely transfer of all permanently valuable records to the National Archives.
vi. A link to a website that includes
(1) a description of the staffing, organizational structure, and process for analyzing and responding to FOIA requests;
(2) an assessment of the agency’s capacity to analyze, coordinate, and respond to such requests in a timely manner, together with proposed changes, technological resources, or reforms that ther agency determines are needed to strengthen your response processes; and
(3) if the agency has a significant backlog, milestones that detail how the agency will reduce its pending backlog of outstanding FOIA requests by at least ten percent each year. Providing prompt responses to FOIA requests keeps the public apprised of specific informational matters they seek.
vii. A description or link to a webpage that describes the staffing, organizational structure, and process for analyzing and responding to Congressional requests for information.
viii. A link to a publicly available webpage where the public can learn about the agency’s declassification programs, learn how to access declassified materials, and provide input about what types of information should be prioritized for declassification, as appropriate. Declassification of government information that no longer needs protection, in accordance with established procedures, is essential to the free flow of information.
Participation: To create more informed and effective policies, the Federal Government should promote opportunities for the public to participate throughout the decision-making process. The agency’s Open Government Plan should explain in detail how the agency will improve participation, including steps the agency will take to revise its current practices to increase opportunities for public participation in and feedback on the agency’s core mission activities. The specific details should include proposed changes to internal management and administrative policies to improve participation.
i. The Plan should include descriptions of and links to appropriate websites where the public can engage in existing participatory processes of the agency.
ii. The Plan should include proposals for new feedback mechanisms, including innovative tools and practices that create new and easier methods for public engagement.
Collaboration: The agency’s Open Government Plan should explain in detail how the agency will improve collaboration, including steps the agency will take to revise its current practices to further cooperation with other Federal and non-Federal governmental agencies, the public, and non-profit and private entities in fulfilling the agency’s core mission activities. The specific details should include proposed changes to internal management and administrative policies to improve collaboration.
i. The Plan should include proposals to use technology platforms to improve collaboration among people within and outside the agency.
ii. The Plan should include descriptions of and links to appropriate websites where the public can learn about existing collaboration efforts of the agency.
iii. The Plan should include innovative methods, such as prizes and competitions, to obtain ideas from and to increase collaboration with those in the private sector, non-profit, and academic communities.
Flagship Initiative: Each agency’s Open Government Plan should describe at least one specific, new transparency, participation, or collaboration initiative that the agency is currently implementing (or that will be implemented before the next update of the Open Government Plan). That description should include:
i. An overview of the initiative, how it addresses one or more of the three openness principles, and how it aims to improve agency operations;
ii. An explanation of how the agency engages or plans to engage the public and maintain dialogue with interested parties who could contribute innovative ideas to the initiative;
iii. If appropriate, identification of any partners external to the agency with whom it directly collaborates on the initiative;
iv. An account of how the agency plans to measure improved transparency, participation, and/or collaboration through this initiative; and
v. An explanation of the steps the agency is taking to make the initiative sustainable and allow for continued improvement.
Public and Agency Involvement: Extensive public and employee engagement should take place during the formation of this plan, which should lead to the incorporation of relevant and useful ideas developed in that dialogue. Public engagement should continue to be part of the agency’s periodic review and modification of its plan. The agency should respond to public feedback on a regular basis.