USA — Defense Department Launches Open Government Plan

WASHINGTON, April 8, 2010 — The Defense Depart­ment today released its Open Gov­ern­ment Plan, which artic­u­lates how the depart­ment seeks to make its oper­a­tions and data more trans­par­ent to the pub­lic, offi­cials said.
Avail­able online at, the plan out­lines the department’s efforts to expand oppor­tu­ni­ties for cit­i­zen par­tic­i­pa­tion, col­lab­o­ra­tion and over­sight. It is the lat­est major mile­stone for the depart­ment in its focus on open­ness and trans­paren­cy, as envi­sioned in a direc­tive issued in Decem­ber by Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma.

“The Depart­ment of Defense has demon­strat­ed its com­mit­ment to improve trans­paren­cy, par­tic­i­pa­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion,” since the direc­tive was issued, Eliz­a­beth A. McGrath, assis­tant deputy chief man­age­ment offi­cer, said in a news release. “Improved trans­paren­cy can enable the pub­lic to bet­ter under­stand goals and activ­i­ties of the depart­ment and facil­i­tate analy­sis of data nev­er before shared pub­licly. Broad­er par­tic­i­pa­tion can serve to low­er bar­ri­ers between the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment and pub­lic cit­i­zens.”

Togeth­er with pub­lic input, the Open Gov­ern­ment Plan includes mate­r­i­al from across the depart­ment, draw­ing on the exper­tise of man­age­ment, pub­lic affairs, the tech­nol­o­gy sec­tor, secu­ri­ty and legal pro­fes­sion­als. The col­lab­o­ra­tive nature of the process is sym­bol­ic of its goals: an agency that is more effi­cient and col­lab­o­ra­tive at accom­plish­ing its key mis­sion and is more trans­par­ent and open to tax­pay­ers, offi­cials said.

“Embrac­ing open gov­ern­ment at the Depart­ment of Defense will gen­er­ate new ideas ben­e­fit­ing both the warfight­er and U.S. cit­i­zens,” McGrath, head of the Defense Department’s Open Gov­ern­ment project, said. “The depart­ment looks for­ward to strength­en­ing the pil­lars of Open Gov­ern­ment in the months and years to come.”

In the past four months, the depart­ment has cre­at­ed an open gov­ern­ment Web page, added high-val­ue data sets to and has begun to cre­ate a gov­er­nance struc­ture for a long-term com­mit­ment to these goals.

In Feb­ru­ary and March, the pub­lic was invit­ed to sub­mit ideas for the plan on an Open Gov­ern­ment Web site. Cit­i­zens sug­gest­ed 92 ideas, cast more than 600 votes and wrote 111 com­ments.

Defense offi­cials reviewed all of the sug­ges­tions and com­ments in draft­ing the Open Gov­ern­ment Plan doc­u­ment, and specif­i­cal­ly com­mit­ted to act­ing on sev­er­al of the most-pop­u­lar ideas.

The plan, post­ed online today, aims to con­tin­ue the dia­logue by allow­ing the pub­lic to com­ment on indi­vid­ual sec­tions, offi­cials said.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)