President Obama has made openness a high priority in his Administration, committing his Administration to an “unprecedented level of openness in Government” on his first full day in office. Since then, the Administration has:
- disclosed more information requested under the Freedom of Information Act;
- made voluminous information available on government websites;
- used technology in innovative ways that harness government information to improve the lives of ordinary citizens.
As President Obama today signs the Open Government Partnership declaration, DOT is proud to highlight some of the ways that we have advanced America’s domestic open government agenda and created a more efficient and effective government through greater transparency, participation, and collaboration.
As the Deputy Secretary noted in his introduction to our Open Government Plan, DOT is committed to ensuring continued innovation in the areas of transparency, participation, and collaboration now and in the future. Our open government site contains many stories about our accomplishments since our plan was issued, and we highlight some of them here:
- DOT has leveraged challenges and competitions to further innovation in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems and Connected Vehicles and to seek out new uses of data through the Data Visualization Student Challenge, which is open through October 31, 2011
- DOT continues to explore innovations in electronic rulemaking through its signature initiative, the Regulation Room. To date, DOT has piloted four rules through this innovative portal, and is currently accepting comments on a proposed rule regarding air travel accessibility.
- DOT continues to experiment with open data. Our American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) transparency sites (one for all recovery funds and another for highway-specific projects) are providing taxpayers with unprecedented visibility into how their tax dollars are being spent. FlyOnTime.us leverages data from our Bureau of Transportation Statistics to provide air travelers with data that can help them make more informed travel decisions. Finally, our Regulatory Compliance plan provides visibility into our enforcement and compliance data, commits to publishing these data through data.gov, and identifies areas where we can improve.
An open and good government is much more than releasing information. It is about harnessing the skills and talents of the American people, establishing greater collaboration among Federal agencies, and ensuring that the taxpayer’s money is wisely spent.
To that end, today, DOT is recommitting itself to the principles that the President announced on his first day in office and exemplified in our work since then. We will:
- Continue with our new Digital Transportation Exchange initiative, designed to connect citizens, businesses, state and local governments, industry, entrepreneurs, researchers, and investors though a public private partnership like never before—creating a thriving marketplace for transportation solutions. You can read more about this program’s recent public meeting at CIO.gov.
- Announce a new initiative in our Customer Service Plan, which will be released in October that exemplifies the spirit of the Open Government Partnership, leveraging open data to bring transparency to transportation service provider performance.