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Role of Bureaus

Page history last edited by Lucas Cioffi 14 years, 6 months ago

Issue/Topic:  Role of Bureaus in OGD Implementation


From the Open Government Directive Workshop, January 11, 2010 at the US Department of Transportation


Session Number – Space/Location Letter 2 - M


Convener: John Kamensky – Convener; IBM Center for Business in Government



Notes-taker: Amanda Eamich – USDA Director of New Media


"Tags” for the session - Open Government Topics discussed:




Discussion notes, key understandings, outstanding questions, observations, and, if appropriate to this discussion: action items, next steps:



What is the role of bureaus (Sub-Departmental Agencies) in implementing the Open Government Initiative?


John Kineski – Convener; IBM Center for Business in Government

Karen Malkin – USDA Farm Service Agency

Rachel Rochino – Phase One Consulting, DOI Chief Architect (CIO)

Amanda Eamich – USDA Director of New Media

Brand Neiman  - EPA CIO

Noel Dickover

Maxine Teller


Morning session focused on Departments developing OGI; but it is the bureaus or agencies that interact with the public so how do they connect?


Lots of talk about the Department working through privacy, 508, etc, issues, but how do agencies plug in?


Dept may develop the overall policy, plans and/or tools, but can the agencies do work in the interim or separately?


Notion that plans are developed at Department levels to make it easier for agencies to do the work (i.e. Dept. negotiating Terms of Service agreements so each agency doesn’t have to)


Mission Support vs. Mission Delivery – Who interacts with the customers, or who should?




Citizen Engagement at EPA – Historically came about bc citizens wanted to know what was happening in their neighborhoods which led to the Community Right to Know Act (Toxin Release Inventory) which is in turn made available to the public and explained in context.

State of the Environment Report and forward looking leadership coupled with grassroots EPA staff efforts that lead to the Web 2.0 team and program. 


Timeline might be difficult to deliver, but forced to do so.  Waiting for “champion” or lead to comply with requirements. Develop grassroots project to work quickly to inform senior leadership and then move forward.


At USDA, have two steering groups to inform OGD implementation

1.     High level mission support team (CIO, Privacy, Legal, Communications, etc)

2.     Data group formed of agency representatives to identify datasets, establishing guidelines, which will add value to public, citizen engagement, etc


DoT has core team, cross-functional for IT contribution to dataset identification, development, etc.


DoD open gov and Web 2.0 are somewhat separate efforts. Employees still waiting for policy on Web 2.0/Social Media before leaping forward. Pushing decision-making down to the lowest (component) levels.  Social Media use policy is a separate project.

-       Department didn’t develop policy soon enough, so bureaus developed their own in the interim.

-       NOW, Department is working through risks, vulnerabilities to take another look at social media use today and as it will evolve in the years to come. Establishing policies to level the playing field.


Terms of Service agreements should be managed/agreed upon at Department level.


Question: Is it good or bad that agencies can experiment with social media and/or have different approaches or policies to social media use?


DoD developed best practice documents; utilized SharePoint to contribute ideas and proposals to develop the policy internally, collaboratively – some were people who were self-motivated, some directed.


Shift in mentality: When in doubt, we’ll assume it’s all public informational. The burden now is to show that it shouldn’t be released.


USDA has “living” best practice documents that are developed by the Department, but agencies contribute as each have different experience and expertise in citizen engagement and use of social media tools.


Cloud Computing has set up competition within Government: NASA, GSA, Interior and DISA.  Does cloud computing compete with the OGD?


Amanda R. Eamich 

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