EPA Seeks Citizen Participation with Open Government Plan
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, has published the first edition of its Open Government Plan. The plan discusses publishing EPA information online, improving the quality of the information, and creating a culture of open government. This is in response to President Obama’s Open Government Directive, which outlines a plan for breaking down the barriers between the federal government and the public. Today, federal departments and agencies are putting forward concrete plans for making operations and data more transparent, and expanding opportunities for citizen participation, collaboration, and oversight. These steps will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness across the government.
"EPA is very focused on ensuring public access and participation in our activities,” said Linda Travers, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Environmental Information. ”With our new plan, we’re not only meeting the objectives of the directive, but we’re also building on our culture of promoting openness.”
EPA's flagship initiative, Community Engagement, is an over-arching theme that focuses on outreach to disadvantaged communities, expanding public awareness of the rule making process, and improving access to environmental information through the development of mobile applications. The agency is focused on working with communities in innovative ways, with the goal of sharing best practices and lessons learned for future efforts.
To address public comments and suggestions, the EPA will continue the conversation in a series of blog posts for discussion on the plan and with a video town hall meeting in early summer 2010. EPA plans to review its Open Government Plan every six months as suggestions come in from the public.