Press/Journalists

Press Release
April 8, 2010

National Archives Publishes Its Open Government Plan

Washington, DC…Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero today announced the publication of the National Archives and Records Administration’s Open Government Plan (www.archives.gov/open/). The National Archives joins Federal departments and agencies in putting forward concrete plans for making operations and data more transparent and expanding opportunities for citizen participation, collaboration, and oversight. The agency’s unique role as the nation’s record keeper is critical to the success of the President’s open government initiative.

“The principles of open government are embedded in the mission and strategic goals of the National Archives and Records Administration,” said Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. “The cornerstone of our work is the belief that citizens have the right to see, examine, and learn from the records that document the actions of their Government. This important initiative strengthens our democracy, as well as the mission of the National Archives. I expect the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration to change the way we do business, and the way we deliver services to the public.” He continued, “Our first Open Government Plan, created with input from employees and the public, serves as a roadmap for our open government initiatives.”

The National Archives plan focuses on:

  • Reclaiming its records management leadership role by finding and developing cost-effective IT solutions needed to meet the electronic records management challenges of today and the future;

  • Providing services to mediate disputes between Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requestors and Federal agencies through the Office of Government Information Services;

  • Developing the Electronic Records Archives which will enhance long-term preservation and access to electronic records;

  • Creating the National Declassification Center to support open government by streamlining the declassification process throughout the Federal Government; and

  • Providing ready access to the official text of Federal laws, Presidential documents, and administrative regulations and notices through the Federal Register.

The National Archives is committed to improving its online capabilities in order to foster the public’s use of the agency’s records. Included in this effort will be a redesign of Archives.gov, with streamlined search capabilities for the research section of the web site. At the same time, it is exploring ways to develop its current catalog into a social catalog allowing online users to contribute information to descriptions of National Archives records.

A comprehensive social media strategy is also being developed for the agency, which will include internal as well as external communication efforts using new media tools so that the Archives will become a leader and innovator in all aspects of social media.

Further, the Archivist has launched his own blog, “AOTUS: Collector in Chief” (http://blogs.archives.gov/aotus/) to discuss the crucial challenges the agency faces and the future of the National Archives.

The National Archives encourages ongoing feedback and comments to strengthen and improve its Open Government Plan. Join the conversation through:

The Open Government Directive is available at www.whitehouse.gov/open/documents/open-government-directive.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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