National Service Agency Releases Open Government Plan

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Apr 7, 2010

Washington, D.C. -- The Corporation for National and Community Service today released its Open Government Plan, outlining a series of steps the agency will take to strengthen transparency, participation, and collaboration.

The Corporation joined agencies across the federal government in developing plans to fulfill President Obama's commitment to creating a more open and citizen-centric government.

“The principles of open government are at the heart of our mission,” said Corporation CEO Patrick Corvington. “We look forward to carrying out this plan and translating the values of openness into lasting improvements in the way we make decisions, solve problems, and address national challenges.”

The plan notes how the Corporation, by its very structure, is already deeply engaged in practicing open government by collaborating with thousands of organizations to solve local problems, seeking ideas from the public to make better decisions, and sharing information to increase accountability.

The agency will become more open under the plan, which contains more than a dozen action steps ranging from the creation of an Open Government Council to streamlining of the FOIA process to publishing more data about national service grantees.

The plan describes two high priority projects. The first is to share the results of AmeriCorps member end-of-term satisfaction surveys to help future members make informed decisions about where they want to serve and to assist programs in identifying areas where they need to improve. The second is to improve quality and accessibility of data about national service activities in states and cities.

To expand public input, the agency will seek out feedback on its next five-year Strategic Plan, explore avenues for virtual participation in public Board meetings, and provide free online access to the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, among other steps. Collaboration will be strengthened by making more use of social media, improving volunteer matching technology, and launching new programs to strengthen volunteer management, nonprofit capacity, and social innovation.

The Corporation developed the plan in a collaborative process, incorporating input from staff and the public. The agency began seeking public feedback in January, hosted a widely attended staff input session, posted its draft plan online, and met with open government groups about its draft plan. The agency welcomes further input on the plan and has set up the open@cns.gov mailbox for public comments.

“This plan is a living document, and openness is something we're committed to for the long haul,” said Acting Chief Financial Officer Bill Anderson, who is leading the agency's open government efforts. “By following this plan, we will not only become more accountable and effective, we will strengthen democracy and citizen problem-solving.”

Media Contact

Samantha Jo Warfield
(202) 606-6775
sjwarfield@cns.gov

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