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White House releases national action plan for open government

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  1. Freedom of Information
The White House today released the second Open Government National Action Plan, laying out 23 commitments to increase government transparency.…

The White House today released the second Open Government National Action Plan, laying out 23 commitments to increase government transparency.

The administration launched the first National Action Plan in 2011. Today's plan reports that so far the government has met 24 of the 26 commitments in that plan.

"Building upon these efforts to create a more efficient, effective and accountable government, the adminsitration is issuing the second Open Government National Action Plan," today's report explained. "The new plan includes a wide range of actions the administration will take over the next two years, including commitments that build upon past successes as well as several new initiatives."

Among the commitments in the new plan is an effort to modernize Freedom of Information Act processing, including making more resources available to requesters and providing more training for federal employees. The plan also commits the administration to providing more open data for journalists and members of the public to use to better understand government spending and decision-making.

John Wonderlich, policy director at the Sunlight Foundation, posted on the organization's blog shortly after the plan's release, "Since the OGP process itself offers little guidance on what makes a National Action Plan good, the question 'Is this National Action Plan good?' isn’t particularly instructive. Better criteria would be 'What is new here that did not exist before?,' 'How meaningful is this commitment?,' or 'Does this commitment create positive change?'. On those criteria, the US NAP earns mixed results, that vary enormously from one issue to another."