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United States

Transparency of Open311 (US0059)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: United States Action Plan 2015-2017

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: USA.gov Contact Center at the General Services Administration

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government

IRM Review

IRM Report: United States End-of-Term IRM Report 2015-2017, United States Mid-Term Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Public Accountability

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

Open311 is a transparent, participatory way for governments to deliver services to citizens. Its name comes from the commonly used 311 phone number that residents can dial in some cities to report non-emergency complaints or request services. Open311 is a shared open platform that can be integrated either online through a city’s website or via a smartphone application. It allows citizens to find government services and report problems in the open, providing a simple and consistent way to contact government and get something fixed. To reduce the burden of navigating the separation between local and Federal government, the USA.gov Contact Center at the General Services Administration will use Open311 to expand avenues for public participation and provide more transparency in government service delivery across both local and Federal governments. More than a dozen cities have already adopted Open311 and additional cities are committing to implement it including San Diego, Philadelphia, and New York City.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

IRM End of Term Status Summary

Commitment 7. Support Open311 to Enhance Transparency and Participation

Commitment Text:

Support Open311 to Enhance Transparency and Participation

Open311 is a transparent, participatory way for governments to deliver services to citizens. Its name comes from the commonly used 311 phone number that residents can dial in some cities to report non-emergency complaints or request services. Open311 is a shared open platform that can be integrated either online through a city’s website or via a smartphone application. It allows citizens to find government services and report problems in the open, providing a simple and consistent way to contact government and get something fixed. To reduce the burden of navigating the separation between local and Federal government, the USA.gov Contact Center at the General Services Administration will use Open311 to expand avenues for public participation and provide more transparency in government service delivery across both local and Federal governments. More than a dozen cities have already adopted Open311 and additional cities are committing to implement it including San Diego, Philadelphia, and New York City.

Responsible Institution: General Services Administration

Supporting Institutions: City government and civil society leaders

 Start Date: Not Specified  ....... End Date: Not Specified

Commitment Aim

A shared open platform, Open311 allows the public to report non-emergency issues to the relevant authorities and track government responses. This commitment aimed to have the USA.gov Contact Center implement the Open311 platform so that the public could report and track government responses to non-emergency issues at the federal level, thereby enhancing public accountability.

Status

Midterm: Limited

The government had made limited progress on this commitment at the midterm. Specifically, the General Services Administration was in the process of developing federal-level Open311 pilot programs. [93] However, by the close of the midterm reporting period, no such programs had been implemented.

End of Term: Limited

At the end of term, the IRM researcher observed no additional progress made on this commitment, based on publicly available information. A January 2017 State of Federal Information Technology report lists Open311 as a key General Services Administration (GSA) initiative. [94] The report was published by the Federal Chief Information Officer Council—an interagency forum focused on federal information resources—in partnership with the GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy. The listing of Open311 as a GSA initiative suggests that the commitment remains on the government’s radar. However, the IRM researcher was unable to document any concrete government progress toward piloting and/or implementing Open311 at the federal level.

Did It Open Government?

Public Accountability: Did Not Change

This commitment did not open government with respect to government accountability. The government made no progress on meeting this commitment since midterm, and the federal-level Open311 system envisioned under the commitment remains unrealized.

Carried Forward?

The US government had not published its fourth national action plan at the time of writing. Given the lack of specificity surrounding this commitment, the government should more carefully evaluate the anticipated benefits of a federal Open311 program before moving forward with its implementation.

[93] United States of America, Midterm Self-Assessment Report for the Open Government Partnership: Third Open Government National Action Plan, 2015-2017, September 2016, 6, https://www.opengovpartnership.org/sites/default/files/USA_NAP3_self-assessment-report_20160916.pdf, consulted 2 October 2017.

[94] Chief Information Officers Council, State of Federal Information Technology, January 2017, pp. C-13. https://s3.amazonaws.com/sitesusa/wp-content/uploads/sites/1151/2017/05/CIO-Council-State-of-Federal-IT-Report-January-2017-1.pdf, consulted 9 September 2017.


Commitments

Open Government Partnership