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"To help build a new foundation for the 21st century, we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient, more transparent, and more creative."

-President Obama, April 25, 2009


  • The President issued a Presidential Memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies ordering them to compile recommendations for an open government directive on transparency, participation, and collaboration in government.
  • The Recovery Act calls for a comprehensive plan for national broadband, and the FCC is developing a plan due in February, 2010. The Recovery Act also provides for $7.2 billion for broadband internet access nationwide, including grants for rural broadband access, expanding computer center capacity, and sustainable broadband adoption initiatives.
  • The President launched, an unprecedented step to provide transparency and accountability through technology.
  • The President issued an Executive Order to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making.
  • The President answered questions at the first online town hall from the White House that were submitted and voted on transparently by the public at
  • Established a central portal for Americans to find service opportunities.
  • Building New Communities like – enabling conversation and online collaboration between small business owners, government representatives and industry experts in discussion forums relevant to starting and managing a business.
  • The President appointed the first ever Federal Chief Information Officer to provide management and oversight over federal IT spending and nominated the first ever Federal Chief Technology Officer to provide vision, strategy and direction for using technology to bring innovation to the American economy. They will work together to support innovation inside and outside the Federal Government.

Guiding Principles

Innovation in the Economy: Drive Economic Growth and Solve National Problems By Deploying a 21st Century Information Infrastructure

The President believes that modernized infrastructure is a necessary part of the foundation for long term economic stability and prosperity. That includes everything from a comprehensive national broadband plan, to new health care information technology, to a modernized electrical grid.

The President has also directed the National Security and Homeland Security Advisors to conduct an immediate review of the plan, programs, and activities underway throughout the government dedicated to cyber security. This 60-day interagency review will develop a strategic framework to ensure that U.S. Government cyber security initiatives are appropriately integrated, resourced and coordinated with Congress and the private sector.

Innovation in Science: Invest in Science and Science Education

The President has named Dr. John Holdren, a nationally recognized expert on climate change and nuclear disarmament, as an Assistant to the President and the nation’s Science Advisor, and Dr. Steven Chu, Nobel-prize winner as the Secretary of Energy. These are just two of the many leading science experts who are serving in an Administration committed to science.

Innovation in Public Administration: Creating an Open and Secure Government

Strategic federal IT investments will make Government more transparent and accountable. At the same time, Americans will know that these investments by their Government are being leveraged to produce maximum value, and that the security of information systems nationally, and the privacy of Americans, are being protected. Strategic investments in IT are at the heart of the efforts to make Government services more effective, accessible, and transparent.

Restoring a Culture of Accountability through Openness and Transparency of Government Operations and Information

Moving Toward Unprecedented Openness: Change the presumption under the Freedom of Information Act to favor voluntary disclosure of government information to the public.

Making Critical Government Information Available: Working to provide public access to information of public import and concern, such as the Department of Justice "torture" memos, the President’s and Vice-President’s tax returns, the public financial disclosure reports for White House personnel, and presidential records.