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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Open Government Initiative

Transparency * Participation * Collaboration

Date: 01/29/2010 Description: Open Government logo © White House Image"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."

—President Barack Obama, January 21, 2009

Date: 01/21/2009 Description: President Obama delivers speech on A New Standard of Openness. © White House Image

The Open Government Directive and the Progress Report to the American People lay out how the Obama Administration is breaking down long-standing barriers between the Federal government and the people it serves. The Directive instructs agencies to take immediate, specific steps to open their doors and data to the American people.

President Obama signed the Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government as his first executive action, ushering in a new era of open and accountable government meant to bridge the gap between the American people and their government.

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The State Department's Public Engagement Activity

From February 2010 to February 2012, the State Department conducted an online discussion about open government between federal employees and the public. The goal of this dialogue was to collect information on transparency, participation, collaboration, innovation, improving the site, and the Department’s Open Government Plan.

Using the online tool IdeaScale, users could review ideas and comments, share ideas, comment on existing ideas, and vote on ideas. At the end of the 24 months, 51 ideas had been posted by 51 people. The 416 registered users submitted 128 comments and cast 698 votes. Moderators reviewed all ideas and comments, and shared them with other State Department offices.

Many ideas and comments focused on broad themes that did not lend themselves to any specific action. A number of other ideas were sent to bureaus and offices with the request that they consider taking action.

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