The Justice Department’s revised Open Government Plan was ranked among the top 10 government agencies (ranked 8th) by outside groups. Furthermore, the department’s plan, “Version 1.1” was celebrated for “biggest improvement” over the original plan, with our new ranking nearly double the old one. To see the revised plan, released June 25, 2010, click here.
The revised plan includes a number of new initiatives, including a pledge to post legislative histories from the department’s library. The group that oversaw the audits and released the rankings praised the department’s efforts and noted that Justice Department staff had participated in conference calls and meetings with the auditors and “took advantage of this constructive criticism to improve their plan.”
According to OpenTheGovernment.org, the new plan “provides specific details and deadlines for implementing and sustaining their flagship initiative, the FOIA Dashboard.” The updated evaluation praises the department for its intention to review FOIA regulations and initiate a rulemaking process to ensure greater transparency. It also praised the department for detailing its own performance in responding to FOIA requests, including statistics on component backlogs.
The group adds: “Of particular note is that DOJ has agreed to make publicly available a valuable collection of digital legislative histories and to provide access to significant court filings through its website, along with an RSS/XML feed so the public can track the briefs as they are posted. DOJ also committed to attaching relevant court filings to press releases, which will be of great value to the media, researchers and the public.
“The revised plan ties disclosure, public participation and collaboration with stakeholders directly to its mission. The expanded section on the FOIA Dashboard in particular demonstrates the importance of the Department’s leadership as the primary agency responsible for FOIA implementation across the government.”
The department is pleased that its efforts have been recognized and pledges to continue its commitment to help the President attain his goal of being the most open, accountable and participatory administration ever.
To read the entire audit and see how the Justice Department compared to other agencies, click here.