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National Security Archive submits recommendations for President Obama’s Open Government Directive

White House launches public participation and collaboration effort to develop transparency policies

Public opportunity to submit, comment on, and vote for open government ideas closes May 28

For more information contact:
Meredith Fuchs / Kristin Adair

Washington, DC, May 26, 2009 – Today the National Security Archive submitted recommendations  to the White House’s Open Government Initiative on the Open Government Dialogue website run by the National Academy of Public Administrators.  This site was launched on May 21, 2009, as part of a three-phase public participation process that was announced last week in a federal register notice. The Archive’s recommendations call for dedicated leadership and enforcement of transparency policies, fulfillment of the core purposes of the Freedom of Information Act, and bringing government records management into the modern era.  

“The White House is starting a process that could lead to a wave of change across government,” said Meredith Fuchs, the Archive’s general counsel.  “If the Administration is serious about ushering in a new era of transparency and collaboration with the public, then there must be a commitment to long-term leadership and enforcement of open government policies.  We need a chief transparency advocate to make it happen.”

 The Open Government Initiative is a result of President Obama’s January 21, 2009 open government memorandum,  calling for recommendations by May 21, 2009, that would usher in an unprecedented level of openness in government. In the memorandum, the President outlined three principles for promoting a transparent and open government: transparency, participation, and collaboration. 

The Archive’s recommendations were submitted today as part of phase one of the Open Government Initiative, the brainstorming phase, which is dedicated to the submission of public recommendations to improve government transparency.  It will be completed on May 28.  Phase two begins on June 3 and concerns discussion of the ideas generated during the first phase.  Finally, phase three, which begins June 15, is a collaborative rule drafting process. 

On the Brainstorming site, members of the public may submit, comment on, and vote for open government ideas in three categories: transparency, participation, and collaboration.  This phase of the process will close on May 28, 2009.  Today, the Archive posted the following specific recommendations on the new Open Government Dialogue site:

In addition, the Archive participated in the 20th Century Right to Know Initiative and in OpenTheGovernment.org’s processes for generating open government recommendations and supports the recommendations posted by those groups to the Brainstorming site.  These include many recommendations to improve the national security classification system and records management across the government. We urge interested parties to review the recommendations and provide their comments before the Open Government Dialogue site closes on May 28, 2009.


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