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The Open Government Plan

Current Plan

The Open Government Plan Version 2.0 outlines efforts to encourage transparency, public participation and collaboration at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the public. Such actions include:

  • Hosting open dialogues to receive comments and ideas from the public on cybersecurity and National Preparedness using GSA’s online collaboration tool IdeaScale;
  • Providing an update of the Department’s social media tools; and
  • Providing additional datasets to data.gov.

The Department of Homeland Security and all federal agencies are working to reduce their backlog of Freedom of Information Act requests. When the Administration took office in 2009, the FOIA Office faced significant challenges, including record backlogs and delayed response times. The Department took this seriously, hiring a highly respected Chief Privacy Officer to improve performance, which it has done successfully on every front:

  • Two years ago, the Department faced a backlog of more than 74,000 FOIA requests. Under this Administration, DHS has reduced the backlog by 84 percent, from 74,879 to 11,383 requests.
  • In fiscal year 2010 alone, DHS reduced its backlog by 40 percent, eclipsing both the government-wide Open Government Directive’s instruction to reduce the FOIA backlog by 10 percent each year, as well as DHS’s own Open Government Plan’s goal of a 15 percent reduction for the fiscal year.
  • In the past two years, DHS also reduced the average time it takes to process FOIA requests in our system by 58 percent, from 225 days to 95 days.
  • These substantial reductions occurred even though DHS received more FOIA requests than any other federal department. In fiscal year 2010, DHS received 130,098 FOIA requests – 22 percent of all FOIAs received by the federal government – and processed 138,651 requests, also more than any other federal department

In addition to enhanced public participation opportunities, the Department has inventoried over 900 datasets of an estimated universe of 1200 and has developed a dataset candidate pipeline of over 70.

The Open Government Plan highlights:

  • How the principles of Open Government align with DHS missions
  • The DHS governance structure for managing Open Government
  • Data.gov activities
  • Performance management for key Open Government activities
  • Existing and new flagship initiatives

DHS is continuing its commitment to Open Government by releasing this addendum to Open Government Plan 2.0. In addition to highlighting the progress made since the release of Version 2.0, the Addendum renews the Department’s commitment to transparency through a greater push for release of relevant information to the public. Public engagement and collaboration are also featured through the increased efforts in customer service and the Department’s two additional flagship initiatives.

Version 1.1

The prior version of the plan is provided for transparency purposes.

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