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Help us strengthen open government at the National Archives!

by on February 22, 2012


Starting today, we need your ideas, comments, and votes to help us revise the Open Government Plan of the National Archives.  Please visit the Open Government Idea Forum and take a few minutes to let us know what you think we should be doing to strengthen transparency, participation, and collaboration at the National Archives.

Screen Shot of the Open Government Idea Forum
Two years ago, we first sought your input in the development of our Open Government Plan.  We ran the Open Government Idea Forum and received many thoughtful ideas from the public on how to improve transparency, participation, and collaboration at the National Archives.

Your input had a great impact.

We’ve made significant progress in several areas that are crucial to open government, including:

  • records management,
  • declassification,
  • freedom of information,
  • and the Federal Register.
We’ve also redesigned Archives.gov, launched Online Public Access, hosted a Wikipedian in Residence, and launched the Citizen Archivist Dashboard.  You can learn more about these open government accomplishments and many more at http://www.archives.gov/open.
The Open Government Idea Forum will run through March 7, 2012 March 21, 2012.  You can also submit suggestions to be considered for the Open Government Plan in the comments below or to opengov@nara.gov.

Comments

Steven Aftergood February 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I suggest that NARA perform an assessment of statutory obstacles to the success of its mission, and then petition Congress for legislative relief.

Specifically, I believe that the so-called Kyl-Lott Amendment has outlived its usefulness and that it is undermining the productivity of NARA’s declassification program. NARA and the National Declassification Center should develop a legislative proposal to repeal or modify the terms of the Kyl-Lott Amendment, in such a way as to optimize and facilitate declassification of historical records while still protecting legitimate secrets.

Eric Holzer February 27, 2012 at 11:03 am

My comment reflects my own opinion and does not necessarily represent the views of any government office or any organization.

Document review results in a product and that product is the determination to declassify, retain or upgrade the classification of reviewed materal. Considerations involved in this production process are quality, cost, and quantity. Kyl-Lott has not outlived its usefulness and ensures the quality part of declassification review. The quality of reviews dealing with RD/FRD can not and should not be compromised in any way for any reason – including increased productivity. Quality has to trump other the considerations of cost and quanity; quality is not a something that can be a variable. To increase quantity the only answer is to accept increased costs. I suggest that Mr. Aftergood would do better to lobby for more funding of the review process and try to get more certified reviewers performing reviews of potentially RD/FRD material. Furthermore, I believe Mr. Aftergood has a very legitimate concern but is not in a position to judge what is or is not a legitmate secret. That judgement should be left to professional classification experts, who by the way also strive to optimize and facilitate declassification while protecting what has to be protected.

Meredith Stewart February 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm

Thank you so much for your ideas and comments. If you would like, you can also post your comments on the Open Gov Idea Forum at http://naraopengov.ideascale.com/

Meredith Stewart March 7, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Please note that we have extended the Open Government Idea Forum. It will now run through March 21, 2012.

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