8. Model Open Government Executive Directive

The Open Government Initiative is a collaborative project to draft model language for municipal governments interested in open government or open data. Their Model Open Government Executive Directive, published in January 2011[220], addresses data publishing and other aspects of open government.


The [City] is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. City officials will work together and with the public to ensure open and effective government as well as public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, collaboration, and accountability.

This memorandum requires [City] departments and agencies to take the following steps to achieve the goal of creating a more open government:

Publish Government Information Online

To increase accountability, promote informed public participation, and create economic development opportunities, each [City Department] shall expand access to information by making it available online in open formats that facilitate access to and reuse of information.

. . .

Presumption of Openness: With respect to information, the presumption shall be in favor of openness and publication (to the extent permitted by law and subject to valid privacy, confidentiality, security, or other restrictions). Where practicable, [City Departments] shall publish all data that is not subject to valid privacy, security, or privilege limitations.

Online and Open: [City Departments] should publish information online and, when practicable, in an open format that can be retrieved, downloaded, indexed, sorted, searched, and reused by commonly used Web search applications and commonly used software.

. . .

Response to Public Feedback: Each [City Department] shall respond to public feedback received through the Open Government Web page on a regular, timely basis. Responses shall include descriptions of actions taken or reasons for not taking action based on public input.

. . .

Licenses: The city shall not assert any copyright, patent, trademark, or other restriction on government information. However, such restrictions may be applied to information shared by the city that was compiled or modified by non-governmental entities or individuals.

Create and Institutionalize a Culture of Open Government

. . .

Open Government Plans: Within 120 days, each the [City] shall develop and publish an Open Government Plan that will describe how the each department will enhance and develop transparency, public participation, and collaboration.

. . .

Working Group: Within 45 days, the [Mayor] and [City Auditor] shall establish a working group that focuses on transparency, accountability, public participation, and collaboration within the [City] government.

. . .

Identification of Barriers, Guidance, and Revisions: Within 120 days, the [City Attorney], in consultation with the [City’s] [Chief Information Officer], will review existing [City] policies to identify impediments to open government and to the use of new technologies and, where necessary, issue clarifying guidance and/or propose revisions to such policies, to promote greater openness in government.

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