We focused on the four core principles behind the Open Government Initiative in drafting the plan:
- Publishing government information online
- Improving the quality of government information
- Creating and institutionalizing a culture of open government
- Enabling a policy framework for open government
The plan mandates a 15 percent reduction of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request backlogs per year at DHS - which we've already decreased by 81 percent over the past four years - to enhance transparency of departmental records and communications.
The plan recommends the expansion of "Virtual USA" - a DHS information-sharing initiative that links disparate tools and technologies to improve communication between first responders during emergencies.
The plan also highlights the Department's efforts to support fusion centers with state and local governments, critical assets in preventing crime and terrorism in communities across the country through two-way intelligence and information sharing between DHS and the rest of the federal government and our state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners.
The department also solicited and incorporated public feedback in drafting the plan. We plan to continue this method of public engagement as we develop other initiatives and tools. Look for new ways to engage with the Department in the coming months.
"My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”
- President Obama, 01/21/09