D.C. Open Government Action Plan

November 2014

Executive Summary

This Open Government Action Plan represents a vision and a set of initiatives for the new mayor’s consideration to make the District of Columbia government a model of transparency.  Implementation of these carefully crafted executive, legislative, and policy priorities would greatly improve public access to government records, data, and proceedings, with improvement in public understanding and effective participation in self-government.

Outgoing Mayor Vincent Gray has taken some important steps in recent weeks that provide an opportunity for Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser to take immediate action to improve the state of open government in the District of Columbia. Mayor Gray’s appointment of members to the new Open Government Advisory Group and that group’s scheduling of its first two meetings is a prime example, especially as that group is poised to work on issues in many of the topic areas discussed in this Open Government Action Plan.

Recommendations fall within five areas: an initial “transparency initiative” for the new mayor; strengthening the Office of Open Government (OOG), amending the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Open Meetings Act (OMA), and making the District a leader in the “open data” arena. The D.C. Open Government Coalition, with significant contributions from members of the D.C. community with expertise in and commitment to effective, open government, developed this plan.

Appendix A contains expanded explanations or background which may be useful in understanding or implementing some of these recommendations.

Appendix B lists individuals who participated in this project.