Open Government Impact Awards - invitation to nominate

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Philip Ashlock - QQA

Sep 14, 2021, 12:00:40 PM9/14/21
Hello Open Government Community,
I'm supporting the US Government in our implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) for Open Government (see and our broader participation in the Open Government Partnership (OGP). As part of that, OGP members have been invited to nominate one of our past NAP commitments for consideration in a people's choice awards program to be voted on during the lead up to the Open Government Partnership Summit in December. The OGP Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) has a short list of the best reviewed prior commitments (copied below) and these serve as the basis for the main commitments to select from. However, we can also nominate other commitments if they can be considered to be of equal or greater impact. We would like to solicit your input in helping to nominate one of these. The main criteria for nominating a project is the following:
  • Most innovative (tried to solve a problem in a new way)
  • Most impactful (had long-term results)
  • Most sustainable (impact was maintained over time) 
In nominating an effort, we would like to focus on how this commitment improved people’s lives or the quality of democracy, and ways in which it was able to be scaled up or sustained. Below, we've provided the short list of 12 prior commitments as evaluated by the IRM for you to review and help us select.

Please email your choice to by 5pm ET on Thursday September 16th with the subject line “OGP Impact Awards” and include a short paragraph explaining why you think this commitment should be nominated while emphasizing the qualification criteria (innovative, impactful, sustainable). If you have additional information about key people or organizations who supported this effort from outside of government, please note that as well. We're inviting members of the US public to participate in this process, but we particularly encourage folks to submit on behalf of a group of people such as a larger community organization or civil society institution. When submitting please denote if you are simply submitting on behalf of yourself or are also representing a larger group.

We recognize that this is very short notice to invite participation in the nomination process and we apologize for the tight deadline.  Please understand we are currently working to build more institutional capacity to support open government efforts and reinvigorate our dialogue with civil society. We look forward to opportunities to work with this community in a more proactive and engaging way in the coming months.

If you have any questions about this process, please email them to
Phil Ashlock

Prior US open government commitments to select from are listed below. In identifying "did it open government" the IRM rated these as the best. The two with the asterisk (*) received the highest rating overall.

Sep 15, 2021, 4:08:11 PM9/15/21
Many of these prior commitments are questionable.

The USA withdrew from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in 2017; it should not be listed.

Amendments to FOIA were not achieved through OGP: the Department of Justice lobbied against them and the Obama White House did not push for reform.

The Trump administration censored open climate data instead of promoting it and directed hatred towards a whistleblower who came forward about the president's corruption.

The fact that the IRM put the first two forward places considerable doubt on whether the researchers are accurate arbiters of US government performance or record.

Relatedly, neither nor USASpending were achieved as result of OGP, either. White House petitions were ignored under the last administration and have not been brought back by this one.
Why are they listed on the GSA's page?

When is the White House going to take action to publicly re-engage on OGP?

The 8th commitment in the 4th NAP was to 8) Expand Public Participation in Developing Future U.S. National Action Plans

"Citizen engagement and public participation areamong the most important elements of the NAP co-creation process. During the development of this NAP4,everyday Americans provided some of the most thoughtful and engaging ideas. As we begin to contemplate a fifth national action plan, we will prioritize including a more geographically diverse and diffuse representation of citizen stakeholders in the development of the document.We will aim to conduct a series of consultation sessions, in-person meetings,and livestreamed discussions around the country to generate ideas, encourage public input, and engage in conversations with the most important stakeholderthe American public."

The first communication regarding OGP in years shouldn't be asking us to vote on commitments that were withdrawn or undermined.

When will roundtables and public forums begin? The summit is not long from now.

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