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GovLoop Guide - How To Create Transparency

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GovLoop Guide - How To Create Transparency

  1. 1. GovLoop Guides<br />“Connecting the Government Community”<br />Transparency<br />The President’s Open Government Directive, issued December 8th, 2009, directs federal agencies to “take specific actions to implement the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration.” In what follows, we offer some guidance around how to create more transparency in your organization, based on the conversations that people have had on GovLoop. <br />With over 23,000 members, GovLoop hosts conversations that are important to government employees every day. To become a part of this dynamic and growing community, please visit Enjoy! <br />Step 1. Understand What Transparency Means for Your Organization<br />Transparency means different things for different organizations and agencies. Finding the right way to define transparency for your organization is critical to ensuring a successful transparency project. Here are a few ways that Govloop members define transparency: <br /><ul><li>Disclosure and discussion of information related to the work of the organization
  2. 2. Increasing accountability by publically releasing the results of program evaluations
  3. 3. Recording, publishing, and disseminating information and data via news media outlets, government websites, and reports
  4. 4. From the users perspective, being clear about all the required steps, paperwork, or other requirements for a particular service that a constituent might need or use </li></ul>2. Take Stock of How Transparent Your Organization Already Is<br />Before engaging in a transparency project, it is important to understand the progress your organization has already made towards being open. For agencies that provide direct services to constituents, some questions to ask are: <br /><ul><li>how easy is it for citizens to access information about your agency?
  5. 5. How easy it is for citizens to avail themselves of the services your agency provides?
  6. 6. How easy it is for citizens to appeal an adverse decision?
  7. 7. How easy is it for citizens to compare their experiences to that of other constituents </li></ul>For agencies without direct citizen services (national defense, administration of justice, regulation of commerce, etc) some questions to ask are: <br /><ul><li>How easy is it for citizens to understand the scope, costs, benefits, and planned implementation of newly proposed government functions?
  8. 8. How easy is it for citizens to avail themselves of both current and historical data on actual-vs.-planned performance data on government functions being provided (and those projected for future implementation)
  9. 9. how accurate and reliable is the data being provided by responsible government service providers</li></ul>3. Articulate the Benefits and Challenges of More Transparency in Your Organization<br />When creating and implementing transparency projects, make sure you are clear about the many benefits your agency may receive: <br /><ul><li>The public better understands how and why decisions that influence them are made
  10. 10. Agencies that are doing good work will be recognized as such
  11. 11. Citizens understand how their tax dollars are being spent </li></ul>The information that you publicly share should be relevant to your constituents, and should be built into your other business process. Specific points to consider include: <br /><ul><li>Oversharing – inundating your constituents with data and information is not helpful
  12. 12. Understanding what information is sensitive or private, and shouldn’t be shared
  13. 13. Having clear and publically available guidelines about what is and isn’t shared by your agency </li></ul>4. Assemble a Rockstar Team to Make it Happen<br />Becoming more transparent takes the work of an entire organization, and making sure you get the right people at the table is critical. Any transparency effort should include representation from the following types of offices and roles: <br /><ul><li>Program offices
  14. 14. Office of the Chief Information Officer
  15. 15. Office of General Counsel
  16. 16. Office of the Chief Financial Officer
  17. 17. Chief Technology Officer
  18. 18. Policy Development Office
  19. 19. Office of Public Affairs
  20. 20. Human Resources </li></ul>For more information on how to build a rockstar team, please see the following post:<br />5. Visit GovLoop to Find More Specific Resources and Support<br />Got more questions on transparency? Ask here! <br />The information for this how-to guide was pulled from the following groups and conversations. For more specific information, please check out these sources directly: <br />GovLoop Resources on Transparency <br /><ul><li>OpenGov21: Enabling Collaboration (Group)
  21. 21. Background and Links Archive
  22. 22.
  23. 23. Open Government Commentary
  24. 24. Federal CIO and Intergovernmental Collaboration
  25. 25.
  26. 26. In 7 Words of Less, How Ready is Your Agency for Open Gov?
  27. 27.
  28. 28. How Do You Define “Government Transparency?”
  29. 29.
  30. 30. Open Government Directive – Read and Discuss It Here
  31. 31.</li></ul>Additional Resources on Transparency <br /><ul><li>High-level summary of the Open Government Implementation Guidance
  32. 32. "Enabling Collaboration: Three Priorities for the New Administration." From the National Academy of Public Administration
  33. 33. White House open government memo, February 24th, 2009
  34. 34. HYPERLINK ""