Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, June 18, 2009

White House office asks for input on managing federal information

Michael Fitzpatrick, Transparency: Access to Information, OSTP Blog, June 10, 2009.

The Federal government is the largest single producer, collector, consumer, and disseminator of information in the United States. Providing meaningful access to this information is a key goal of President Obama’s Open Government Initiative.

As part of the Open Government Initiative, the President tasked Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Peter Orszag with issuing an Open Government Directive to Federal agencies. The OMB Directive will be informed by recommendations being developed by the Chief Technology Officer. Consistent with the President’s goals of promoting government transparency, participation, and collaboration, the public has been invited to offer ideas and suggestions.

With this blog post, OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is pleased to join this discussion. One of OIRA’s core responsibilities is to oversee the implementation of Federal information resource management policies. As we think ahead to the development of OMB’s Open Government Directive, we’d like your opinions and comments. ...

OIRA is interested to hear the public’s thoughts on two matters in particular, OMB circular A-130 and [the Freedom of Information Act].

1. OMB Circular A-130, “Management of Information Resources,” is OMB’s principal guidance to agencies on information resources management in general, and on information dissemination principles in particular. Your views on the current Circular, and your suggestions to improve it, are invited. Specifically:

  • Are the basic assumptions and considerations laid out in A-130 which form the basis for the policy in it accurate and up-to-date for today’s environment?
  • Are there any critical gaps or holes which need to be addressed?
  • Are any of the sections out-of-date to the point where they encourage information policy principles which are no longer effective, but instead counterproductive?
  • Given the emphasis on information policy and capital planning of IT investments which are subject to those policies, does the current relationship between these two areas in A-130 need to be updated or altered?
  • Besides the high level principles, should A-130 contain more specific actions for agencies to carry out in order to encourage better adoption of efficient and effective policies for management of an agency’s information resources? ...

Comment. This is the closest yet that the Obama administration's Open Government Initiative has come to addressing public access to government-funded research. See Trosow's argument that Circular A-130 extends to extramural research funded by the federal government.

See also our past posts on Circular A-130.