5. Open Government Initiatives
GSA supports the administration’s goal of creating a more open government and fosters openness for the entire Federal Government. Our open government initiatives have the potential to impact every Federal Government agency in keeping with our mission to support them in conducting their missions. Appendix 4 includes the high-level milestones and timelines depicting where we plan to be in the next one to two years, and Appendix 5 maps the alignment of the open government initiatives to GSA’s strategic and high-priority goals.
Since launching our open gov initiatives in 2010, GSA has gained valuable insight and experience on how to best engage the public to improve delivery of our mission. We are applying what we have learned to our new initiatives, and enhancing our tools and training.
Key lessons learned include:
- Provide agencies with policy-compliant tools to accelerate use of new technologies to engage the public.
- When providing tools, educate agencies about mission related benefits and capabilities, and how policy and legal concerns have been addressed to break down barriers to use.
- Tools should be tested for compliance with security, accessibility and privacy requirements.;
- Building platforms based on open source tools for governmentwide use can be more complex than expected. Customer demand and needs must be well understood to anticipate required resources.
- Provide advice and implementation assistance along with tools to address agency needs.
- Use crowdsourcing to reach outside traditional sources for innovative input and ideas.
GSA’s Open Government Flagship Initiatives. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directed agencies to describe at least one specific new transparency, participation or collaboration initiative being implemented or planned – a flagship initiative. Our current open government plan includes four agency flagship initiatives. Of those four, two are new flagship initiatives that highlight our work with Federal high-performance green buildings and our role as the lead in disposing of and recycling electronic waste. Our four flagship initiatives are:
- Business Breakthrough,
- ePubs (Google) U.S. Government Bookstore,
- Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act – FMI.gov, and
- Electronics waste disposal (eWaste).
We are also highlighting two U.S. National Action Plan technical platform initiatives that support governmentwide performance management and open source sharing.