The White House on Dec. 28 released the U.S. Government’s Fifth Open Government National Action Plan which aims to advance a more accountable government and increase the public’s access to data.

In addition to improving data access, the plan – developed by the Federal government and U.S. civil society – also aims to engage the public in the regulatory process, make government records more accessible to all, and improve delivery of government services and benefits.

“Government works best when we create channels for members of the public to regularly engage with us – and hold us accountable for improving the lives of all people, including those communities that have been excluded from social, economic, and civic life,” Alexander Macgillivray, deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy U.S. chief technology officer, said in a press release. “This action plan creates and deepens these channels across the Federal government.”

The five themes of the plan are: improve access to government data, research, and information; increase civic space to engage the public; transform government service delivery; counter corruption and ensure government integrity and accountability to the public; and ensure equal justice under the law.

The action plan includes several specific commitments, such as “creating feedback mechanisms through which members of the public can request and access data that will help them to hold government accountable for advancing equity, including through partnerships and collaborations with different levels of government, community-based organizations, and researchers.”

The government also plans to improve its production, dissemination, and use of equitable data, building on the Equitable Data Working Group’s recommendations in its April 2022 report. The administration’s Subcommittee on Equitable Data, under the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s National Science and Technology Council, will help to support these recommendations.

Additionally, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will conduct a formal review of the Federal government’s standards for maintaining, collecting, and presenting data on race and ethnicity.

“Support for a more transparent, responsive, and inclusive Federal Government has always been important, but it is especially vital today,” said Sabeel Rahman, associate administrator of OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. “At a time when the principles of equality and democracy are threatened around the world, it is imperative that the U.S. lead by example and prove that democracies can deliver for their people.”

In 2023, the White House said, agency leaders will select specific implementation projects to share measures of success on

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.