Obama's Open Government Directive, Two Years On

John Wonderlich | Sunlight Foundation | December 7, 2011

Tomorrow is the two year anniversary of the Open Government Directive (OGD), the signature transparency policy issued by the Obama administration on December, 2009. The transparency issues facing the administration, both before and after the 2009 policy, fall well beyond the control of the OGD, which is, after all, an OMB memo.

Nevertheless, the OGD is Obama's single broadest attempt to create transparency across the executive branch, and the most high profile attempt to live up to Obama's campaign rhethoric on transparency.

Over the last two years, Sunlight has become familiar with the inherent limitations of directives and declarations such as the OGD, as we've learned that the difference between an aspiration and a mandate can be a huge gap. Announcements about new transparency policies imagine the best possible impact, while implementation often looks to the minimum requirements...