GSA Celebrates United States Entry into Open Government Partnership

President Obama has made transparency a high priority in his Administration, committing to an unprecedented level of openness in government on his first full day in office. Since then, the Administration has disclosed more information requested under the Freedom of Information Act, made vast amounts of information available on government websites, and used technology in innovative ways that harness government information to improve the lives of ordinary citizens.Open Gov National Plan

As President Obama today signs the Open Government Partnership declaration, the U.S. General Services Administration is proud to highlight some of the ways that we have advanced America’s domestic open government agenda and created a more efficient and effective government through greater transparency, participation, and collaboration.  As the business arm of the government, and as an agency with governmentwide policy-making duties, it is particularly important for GSA’s operations, processes and initiatives to be as open as possible.

To support these efforts and those of our customer agencies, GSA has boosted a number of open government projects including Data.gov, Challenge.gov, USASpending.gov, and a Business Breakthrough program for small business inclusion.

Data.gov, Challenge.gov, and USASpending.gov go hand-in-hand as powerful tools to support the Administration’s open government efforts.  Data.gov helps federal agencies open their information and data to the public.  It allows citizens to harness vast amounts of government data ranging from seismic activity trends to energy usage.  Challenge.gov is a venue for agencies to tap into the collective wisdom of the public and draw out the best and brightest ideas for solving the nation’s challenges.  So far, 36 agencies have issued 116 challenges that have helped make buildings greener, prepare communities for disasters, create mobile apps, and better deliver humanitarian relief.  And this year, USASpending.gov was updated to include new features and functionality that improve public transparency about federal spending and allow taxpayers to see exactly how their money is being spent.

In addition to GSA’s online open government efforts, we are committed to increasing our outreach efforts to small businesses, partnering with over 260 small firms through our Business Breakthrough Program conferences.  In seven major cities across the country, attendees have learned first hand from GSA subject matter experts from the Public Buildings Service and Federal Acquisition Service about the intricacies of GSA procurement culture and how to successfully compete for government contracts.

When President Barack Obama challenged federal agencies to increase transparency, participation, and collaboration with the public, GSA eagerly stepped forward. Open government is much more than releasing information; it’s about harnessing the skills and talents of the American people, establishing greater collaboration among federal agencies, and ensuring that the taxpayer’s money is wisely spent. GSA is doing this in remarkable ways,  and we will continue to advance open government principles within our enterprise and across government.

For more information on GSA’s open government initiatives, please visit www.gsa.gov/open

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