White House hosts online webchat on anniversary of Open Government Directive

Tomorrow, December 8, is the one year anniversary of the White House Open Government Directive, which which required federal agencies to take steps to achieve key milestones in transparency, participation, and collaboration. At 2:00 PM EST, the first United States chief technology officer, Aneesh Chopra, will join OMB chief information officer Vivek Kundra and Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, in a live web chat at WhiteHouse.gov/live. Video of the webcast is embedded below:

The @OpenGov account and White House solicited questions through an online form tool at WhiteHouse.gov and through the White House Facebook page. The chat itself will be hosted using the White House Live Facebook app and streamed live online through WhiteHouse.gov/live or, presumably, the White House iPhone app. Watch for whether any three of the White House officials answer questions on Wikileaks and open government. (UPDATE: They didn’t.) President Obama’s press conference on a tax deal with the GOP superseded the original chat on Tuesday, which the @WhiteHouseOSTP account confirmed.

I’ll be liveblogging the chat here using CoverItLive, embedded below:

The Sunlight Foundation released the following statement on the one year anniversary of the open government directive:

“In its first year, the Open Government Directive made government transparency a priority and encouraged federal agencies to put important information online. While more government information is now available online, the Directive’s limitations have also become clearer. Simply put, the president’s commitment to transparency is not yet living up to its full potential. The Open Government Directive is a great starting point, but the hard work that is needed to create a truly open government is still ahead of us.

“Agencies such as the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services and NASA have led the way in releasing data, and the working groups created among key staff have brought about real cultural change within agencies. But all of these initiatives need a steady hand and a clear commitment from the White House to mature into permanent, reliable, effective policies that result in meaningful data online.

“More concentrated work is needed to move beyond the easy wins. The administration has to give stronger direction and urge the agencies to move forward if the promise of an open government is to be realized.”

Sunlight’s recommendations for a more open government are available online at http://sunlightfoundation.com/policy/documents/agenda/.

John Wonderlich of the Sunlight Foundation is also liveblogging.

For more context on White House open government innovation, review the following pieces:

The open government community will likely be discussing the chat on Twitter.  Embedded below is a curated list of open government accounts: