Agencies on Track To Meet Open Gov. Deadline

February 5, 2010 – In The News
Federal Computer Week

President Obama’s Open Government Directive requires agencies to create an open government web page and secure technology for engaging with the public. The deadline to abide by this requirement was Feb. 6. To help streamline the process, the General Services Administration is playing a leadership role in helping agencies meet this requirement; however, many challenges can arise from this initiative.

Once all the tools and technology are in place, agency leaders will face the real challenge of implementing the Open Government Directive, said Mark McCreary.

Initially, agencies appear to have the green light to share as much information as possible, he said. The Open Government Directive explicitly states that agencies should operate under a presumption of openness, he said.

Agencies should simply follow existing rules that say the financial and private information of individuals must be protected, and publicly available information -- such as mortgage filing information -- can be disclosed.

“Likewise, the issues of the protection of state secrets and national security concerns are also largely decided,” McCreary said. “I do not see there being much of a change in the types of data that will be disclosed by agencies. I also see the Office of Management and Budget and GSA taking a supervisory role in dealing with determining what information should be withheld. From a macro viewpoint, the attorney general has already issued guidance on Freedom of Information Act compliance and efforts to disclose as much as possible.”

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