The Rebirth of OpenGov: 2.0


This weekly blog pinpoints huge happenings in the world of Federal government contracting. Check out more on our Twitter account: @RIVA_Solutions. And search our new hashtag, #FedBuzz, for daily updates and join the conversation! Weekly, we, here at RIVA Solutions, like to spotlight government agencies that are leading the way as part of the new social government. We profile the agencies, their public affairs officers, new media directors, web mavens and other gov communicators who give form to the messages that the agencies want to convey. Are you ready to learn about this week’s agency? Read on!

“For too long, the American people have experienced a culture of secrecy in Washington, where information is locked up, taxpayer dollars disappear without a trace, and lobbyists wield undue influence.   For Americans, business as usual in Washington has reinforced the belief that the government benefits the special interests and the well connected at the expense of the American people.” – The White House’s Open Government Initiative

How OpenGov Began

On his first day in Office, President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government. The signing of the memorandum was the beginning of  “a new era of open and accountable government meant to bridge the gap between the American people and their government.” In order to create a this open government, the White House administration became responsible for:

  • The Administration is reducing the influence of special interests by writing new ethics rules that prevent lobbyists from coming to work in government or sitting on its advisory boards.
  • The Administration is tracking how government uses the money with which the people have entrusted it with easy-to-understand websites like, and
  • The Administration is empowering the public – through greater openness and new technologies – to influence the decisions that affect their lives.

On December 8, 2009, the White House issued an unprecedented Open Government Directive. This directive required that all federal agencies take immediate, specific steps to achieve key milestones in becoming more transparent, increasing participation and collaboration.  The agencies are scored based on their performance and meeting the milestones/ expectations for their Open Government plans and actions taken:

  • High Value Data
  • Data Integrity
  • Open Webpage
  • Public Consultation
  • Overall Plan
  • Formulating the Plan
  • Transparency
  • Participation
  • Collaboration
  • Flagship

You can see all Open Government Directive milestones, track progress across the Executive Branch on the Open Government Dashboard, and read about how the Obama Administration is changing the way Washington works in the Progress Report to the American People .

Open Government Initiative 2.0

“Since Open Government plans were released two years ago, a great deal of work has been doneon implementation.  And today, agencies are releasing updates of their plans, which include timelines for completing the initiatives in their previous plans, as well as new commitments. We’ve continued to make agency plans a priority, stating in the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan that we would work with agencies as they implement their plans.  We invite you to read each plan at http://www.[name of agency].gov/open.”  – Celebrating the Release of Open Government Plans 2.0 by Cass R. Sunstein and Chris Vein

Each agency has a their own focus for their Open Government Plan 2.0. However, the objectives are still the same, to create a transparent government and connect and engage the american people.

Health and Human Services highlights three programs in their Open Government Initiative 2.0 plans:

  1. An Innovation Fellows program that pairs HHS employees with experts and entrepreneurs outside of government to tackle issues the agency faces.
  2. A medical product development program, which is a partnership between HHS, academia and private sector research.
  3. A health data initiative that aims to improve quality of data collected thus far, enhancing HHS’ understanding of it.

While the Department of Justice focuses on three main missions:

  1. Prevent terrorism and promote the nation’s security;
  2. Prevent crime, enforce federal laws and represent the rights and interests of the American people; and
  3.  Ensure the fair and efficient administration of justice.
To put it simply, the Open Government Initiative and Open Government Initiative 2.0, were created to help drive innovation, create a transparent government that interacts with the people who support it. The Open Government Initiative 2.0 is a revitalization of its predecessor. It was created to renew interest,  refocus agencies, and build on the work that has been done over the last few years.

Connect with the White House and learn more about the Open Government Initiative visit them on:


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