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Transparency and Open Government: Opportunity to participate in the process

120 days have passed since President Obama’s first day in office and his signing of the memo, Transparency and Open Government.

Yesterday, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) began a process to allow the public to participate in the creation of the recommendations that the Chief Technology Officer, Office of Management and Budget, and the General Services Administration will make that will inform an open government directive.

As a long-time proponent of open government, the ALA was thrilled to hear of the OSTP’s opening this process to the general public. Librarians believe in wide access to government information, and this is one more avenue to ensure the federal government remains transparent.

To make certain that as many people as possible are able to participate in this process, the OSTP have created a Web site explaining the process where comments can be submitted.  For those who prefer a different method of submitting their comments, there are two other options: 1. e-mail: and 2. Mail: Office of Science and Technology Policy, Attn: Open Government Recommendations, 725 17th Street, Washington, DC 20502. All comments must be received by June 19, 2009.

This process is comprised of three phases. The first of which, “Brainstorm,” has already been explained above.  The second phase, “Discuss,” begins June 3.  This phase is a time to “dig deeper on the ideas and challenges identified during the ‘Brainstorm’ phase.” The third phase, “Draft,” begins June 15.  Draft is the phase that allows time to “collaborate on crafting constructive proposals to address challenges from the ‘Discussion’ phase.”

A notice in the May 21, 2009, Federal Register provides additional information.

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