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It's Open Government Wednesday, And...

BY Nancy Scola | Wednesday, April 7 2010

Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

As we mentioned down-blog, today is that day that, under the Obama White House's Open Government Directive, each federal agency is required to release the first draft of open government plan that "will describe how it will improve transparency and integrate public participation and collaboration into its activities."

And frankly, it's a bit of a deluge of information that is going to take some time and teamwork to sort through. Not entirely helpful is that the White House's open government dashboard hasn't been updated with links or status notes on the agencies' plan release, though it does contain links to the "/Open" sites that each of them were required to put up at a prior milestone. Several of these plans, though, are in PDF, and others are in Word or other formats that take some time to comb.

Add to that the fact that agencies and those in the White House have chosen today to highlight a number of specific open government projects and initiatives to complement their plans. Over on the OMB blog, for example, director Peter Orszag blogs about a new requirement that directs agencies to adopt a "Regulation Identifier Number," or RIN, to track government documents throughout their lifecycles. "This seemingly small step will make it easier for members of the public to find and view all online information related to important rules — promoting public engagement in the rulemaking process." Then on the White House blogs, ethics point person Norm Eisen blogs about the release of the plans as part of a broader administration-wide outreach program that includes such things as the posting of White House visitor records.

Orszag and Eisen's posts are two good places to start to get more of a handle on Open Government Bonanza day. Stay tuned for more.

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