The General Services Administration announced Tuesday the establishment of a new program office dedicated to supporting the Biden administration’s Open Government National Action Plan.
GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan detailed the launch of the new Open Government Secretariat Program Management Office at the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, where she represented the U.S. on the steering committee for the partnership. The U.S. will serve on the steering committee for three years beginning in October.
“GSA is proud to be home to a new Secretariat that will help us coordinate and drive toward our goals of empowering people to fully participate in democracy,” Administrator Robin Carnahan said in a news release.“Through our upcoming work on the [Open Government Partnership] Steering Committee and through many other efforts, we will continue to deepen relationships among civil society in the U.S. as well as globally,”
The new office comes with a $1 million annual investment and a permanent team to support the implementation of the Fifth Open Government National Action Plan, which was issued last December. The plan’s focus encompasses the public’s accessibility to data, information and research to promote an accountable and transparent government.
“Attention to underserved individuals and communities is particularly important given the ongoing crisis of democracy, here and abroad,” the fifth U.S. Open Government National Action Plan states. “All too often, underserved communities bear the brunt of democratic backsliding, experiencing threats of violence and erosion of basic rights, protections and access to government services.”
Previously, the GSA hosted virtual public engagement sessions to allow civil society stakeholders, government officials and public members to provide input and feedback on the action plan.
The focus for these meetings included “transforming government service delivery; increasing civic space to engage the public; improving access to government data, research and information; and more.”
In addition to holding public meetings, GSA says it is continuously using public feedback to update the action plan’s website to covey its mission of transparency and digital accessibility.
On Sept. 7, as part of the summit, Carnahan will also meet with members from civil society organizations and participate at a roundtable on “Realizing the Ambition of Open Government.”