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Help Us Become More Open

by William Anderson

Next week the Corporation for National and Community Service will release its open government plan – and we want to get your thoughts and ideas on the draft before we submit the final plan.

The Corporation’s mission meshes naturally with the concept of open government. Transparency, participation, and collaboration are guiding principles for all of our work. We regularly share data and information with the public and seek input about policies and initiatives, both formally and informally. Our programs operate through collaboration with thousands of nonprofit, faith-based, community, and educational organizations.

Our commitment to the principles of open government comes not just out of a desire to increase accountability and make government more effective – we believe citizen participation is essential to democracy.

Here’s a bit of background on open government and where we are at today. On his first day in office, President Obama signed the Open Government memo for executive departments and agencies, which outlined the three principles of open government: transparency, participation, and collaboration. Read more about the principles and the Corporation’s commitment to open government at nationalservice.gov/open.

For several months, the White House held feedback sessions with the public and federal agencies asking people what they want the open government directive to look like. They took all of this feedback and information and incorporated it into the open government directive, which was released in December. The directive sets new standards for the federal government and insists that we reach certain milestones in our transparency, participation and collaboration efforts.

In accordance with the directive, the Corporation published new data sets to a new government-wide website called data.gov in January. In February we created our nationalservice.gov/open page.

Now we are creating our open government policy – and that’s where you come in. We have posted our draft Open Government plan online and we want your feedback. Take a look at the plan and email any feedback to open [at] cns [dot] gov.

This is not about websites – it’s much bigger than this – it’s about culture and achieving our mission. Thank you for your help in making the Corporation more open.

Read the Corporation’s Draft Open Government Plan

William Anderson is the Acting CFO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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