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What Open Government Plans Are Missing

by Andrea Di Maio  |  April 1, 2010  |  6 Comments

Yesterday, which was my last day before a long-awaited Easter break, I reviewed the draft open government plan from a US federal agency. The plan was quite comprehensive, although a bit verbose  (as if the authors were trying to convince themselves more than the readers), and tackled all the areas required by the Open Government Directive.

However a few elements were missing, and I suspect this will be the case for several other agencies too:

  • Tenuous links to the agency’s strategic objectives (although they were made available as an annex)
  • No mention of how success on any aspect of openness (transparency, participation, collaboration) would be measured
  • Unclear distinction between government-wide initiatives and tools, and those that are specific to the agency
  • No definition of “high-value” for data set and how to prioritize various open initiatives
  • No link with social media strategy and no explicit of employees’ engagement on external social networks.

In my humble opinion, most if not all of the above are critical to make open government initiatives become part of the normal course of business, rather than an exception they need to comply with.  Cynically, what the Obama administration needs to have in two years time are a few high-profile flagship open initiatives Ito claim success. On the other hand, if open government principles must be embedded into every agency’s processes and mindset, they need to do more than simply complying with what the directive asks them to do.

Gartner clients can take a look at the note How to Build an Open Government Plan (login required) for a suggested outline of their plans.

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Category: open-government-data  

Tags: open-government  open-government-directive  

Andrea Di Maio
Managing VP
19 years at Gartner
33 years IT industry

Andrea Di Maio is a managing vice president for public sector in Gartner Research, covering government and education. His personal research focus is on digital government strategies, open government, the business value of IT, smart cities, and the impact of technology on the future of government Read Full Bio

Thoughts on What Open Government Plans Are Missing

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by AndreaDiMaio: What Open Government Plans Are Missing – #gov20 #opengov #OGD…

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adriel Hampton, Justin C. Houk, Emma, topsy_top20k, Angelina Munaretto and others. Angelina Munaretto said: RT @AndreaDiMaio: What Open Government Plans Are Missing – #gov20 #opengov #OGD #gc20 #opendata […]

  3. These are not easy issues indeed, even tho the US is seen aborad as the “land of the free” data. For UK news see my latest posting and an older one

  4. […] some activists are saying that the move is more for show than a step towards an open government. Andrea DiMaio has voiced the following concerns about the […]

  5. […] tomorrow, on April 7th, US federal agencies are expected to publish their first ever open government plans highlighting how they will become more transparent, participative and […]

  6. […] (see Gartner’s Andrea Di Maio, “Open Government May Not Be Sustainable,” “What Open Government Plans are Missing,” “Open Government Aftermath Needs Both a Carrot and a Stick,” and “Not All […]

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