Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Open Gov Energy

The Department of Energy recently issued a draft of version 1.2 of its open government plan for public comment. Some of you may remember that the open government plan released by Energy on April 7 was evaluated to be among one of the weakest plans in our over-all rankings. While noting that the plan met many of the Open Government Directive's requirements, our initial evaluation offered Energy several specific suggestions for strengthening the plan.

Specifically, our volunteer evaluator pointed out that Energy could:
  • identify key stakeholders for agency information and their needs as required by the OGD;
  • provide greater clarity in how it currently engages the public and employees, and how it plans to better engage these stakeholders;
  • offer proposed actions and clear future milestones, specifically regarding upcoming open government public meetings;
  • propose changes to current practices, internal management, and administrative policies to improve public participation;
  • explain how the agency will measure improved transparency, participation, and/or collaboration as a result of its flagship initiatives, and how it will sustain and improve the initiatives.
Most of these suggestions should be fairly easily addressed in a revised draft. Do you think Energy's draft open government plan is a substantial improvement over its initial plan? Do you have suggestions for further improving the plan? The good news: Energy wants to hear your thoughts.

We will be working with our volunteers to re-evaluate the revised plans in July. We hope more agencies will follow Energy's lead soon.