[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 15 (Monday, January 26, 2009)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 4685-4686]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-1777]

                        Presidential Documents 

Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 15 / Monday, January 26, 2009 / 
Presidential Documents


[[Page 4685]]

                Memorandum of January 21, 2009

Transparency and Open Government

                Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and 

                My Administration is committed to creating an 
                unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will 
                work together to ensure the public trust and establish 
                a system of transparency, public participation, and 
                collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy 
                and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

                Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes 
                accountability and provides information for citizens 
                about what their Government is doing. Information 
                maintained by the Federal Government is a national 
                asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, 
                consistent with law and policy, to disclose information 
                rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and 
                use. Executive departments and agencies should harness 
                new technologies to put information about their 
                operations and decisions online and readily available 
                to the public. Executive departments and agencies 
                should also solicit public feedback to identify 
                information of greatest use to the public.

                Government should be participatory. Public engagement 
                enhances the Government's effectiveness and improves 
                the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely 
                dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from 
                having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive 
                departments and agencies should offer Americans 
                increased opportunities to participate in policymaking 
                and to provide their Government with the benefits of 
                their collective expertise and information. Executive 
                departments and agencies should also solicit public 
                input on how we can increase and improve opportunities 
                for public participation in Government.

                Government should be collaborative. Collaboration 
                actively engages Americans in the work of their 
                Government. Executive departments and agencies should 
                use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate 
                among themselves, across all levels of Government, and 
                with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and 
                individuals in the private sector. Executive 
                departments and agencies should solicit public feedback 
                to assess and improve their level of collaboration and 
                to identify new opportunities for cooperation.

                I direct the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination 
                with the Director of the Office of Management and 
                Budget (OMB) and the Administrator of General Services, 
                to coordinate the development by appropriate executive 
                departments and agencies, within 120 days, of 
                recommendations for an Open Government Directive, to be 
                issued by the Director of OMB, that instructs executive 
                departments and agencies to take specific actions 
                implementing the principles set forth in this 
                memorandum. The independent agencies should comply with 
                the Open Government Directive.

                This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, 
                create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, 
                enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the 
                United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, 
                its officers, employees, or agents, or any other 

[[Page 4686]]

                This memorandum shall be published in the Federal 
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    Washington, January 21, 2009

[FR Doc. E9-1777
Filed 1-23-09; 11:15 am]
Billing code 3195-W9-P