IRM releases United States report for public comment

The Open Government Partnership’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) has launched its eighth progress reports for public comment; this one is on the United States and can be found below.

IRM progress reports are carried out by an independent researcher under the guidance of an International Experts' Panel. The IRM is grateful to the contribution by Elaine Kamarck, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, who prepared an early draft of the report. The Independent Reporting Mechanism aims to deliver a credible, non-partisan description of the OGP process, results of commitments, and to provide technical recommendations based on the input of government, civil society, and the private sector. 

The United States’ action plan was highly varied and, in many respects, ambitious and innovative and significant progress was made on most of the commitments. While OGP implementation in the United States drew inspiration from an unprecedented consultation on open government during the implementation of the 2009 Open Government Directive, the dedicated public consultation for the OGP action plan was more limited and arguably more targeted.  

Several of the commitments in the action plan focused on improving transparency; however, open government progress has been relatively slower in controversial areas such as national security, ethics reform, declassification of documents, and Freedom of Information Act reform.  

The United States completed half of the commitments in its action plan, while the other half saw limited or substantial progress.

Due to the nature of the US government, wherein federal agencies are to some degree independent of the White House, much of the best participation took place within agencies. There were several notable examples of participation and collaboration at this level, including the commitments around the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the National Dialogue on Federal Website Policy, and NASA's Space Apps competition.

This report is a draft for public comment.  All interested parties are encouraged to comment on this blog or to send public comments to IRM@opengovpartnership.org until November 14. Comments will be collated and published, except where the requestor asks to be anonymous. Where substantive factual errors are identified, comments will be integrated into a final version of the report.

The eight founding members of the Open Government Partnership were given a brief period to provide corrections for possible factual errors in a draft version of the Independent Reporting Mechanism Progress Report.  As the draft report was provided to the United States government for review during a lapse in Federal appropriations, the United States was not able to review and provide comment to the assessment prior to its publication.  Readers should keep this in mind. The US Government adds the following statement:  

The United States Government remains committed to the IRM process, and welcomes the opportunity to provide comments to the report during the open comment period to be included in the final report. In addition, due to significant delays by the IRM in preparing this assessment, the United States will not have the opportunity to incorporate feedback from the IRM assessment in the development of its next National Action Plan.

Photo credit:  Capitol Building in Washington DC., by Vcelloho, via Wikimedia Commons

Authors: Blog Editor
Filed Under: Research
Tags: IRM report