Obama’s Open Government Directive means public can participate in refugee resettlement reform task force!

Yes!  Three cheers for the Obama White House (from me no less)!

I’m just now seeing this good news reported in early December at OMB Watch.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the long-anticipated Open Government Directive on Dec. 8. The directive, a memo from OMB Director Peter Orszag to all agency and department heads, requires that all agencies develop and implement an Open Government Plan specific to each agency.

The directive has been in development since the first day of the Obama administration, when the president issued a memo tasking OMB and other key officials to develop the directive. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) oversaw a three-phase online dialogue to publicly generate, discuss, and develop policy ideas for the directive. The three phases attracted a great deal of public participation.

The directive continues to emphasize the three principles outlined by President Obama in his original memo – transparency, participation, and collaboration. The directive is comprised of four main components centered on very simple but important themes – publishing information; creating a culture of openness; improving data quality; and updating policies to allow for greater openness. Each section tasks agencies and other key offices with specific goals, complete with deadlines and clear requirements that the public be informed and permitted to participate in almost every project.

Surely that means that critics of the refugee resettlement program’s management should be participating in the Task Force on-going at the White House to reform the floundering program that was discussed yesterday at Friends of Refugees here.   And, we should be able to see the notes from the Task Force meetings too!

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